FAQs: Reputation Management

 How to Respond to Negative Reviews (and why you should!)

Most business owners would like to ignore negative reviews. Even if you think the reviewer is 100% wrong, it's important to respond to reviews. Here are some reasons why you should respond and some tips on how to respond.

Why you should respond to negative reviews:

First of all, you're not just responding to that one reviewer; you're speaking to anyone who comes across that review. So keep in mind that a future potential customer will be putting themselves in the reviewer's shoes, not yours. How you respond will give a potential customer some insight into how they'll be treated in similar circumstances.

Replying shows potential customers that you don't ignore feedback and you take steps to make things right. Nobody is perfect so own your mistakes and do what you can to make things right.

Even if you think that customer's perspective isn't 100% accurate, remember the old adage that the customer is always right . . . that goes double when it comes to responding to a negative review because every future customer will be listening.

How to respond to negative reviews:

Apologize and sympathize in your response. You want to acknowledge the customer’s concerns, even if you think they are unfounded. Remember, it's not about who is right. You want to show sympathy that they had a bad experience. "I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience."

Add a little marketing in your response. For example, explain what your customers usually experience. "We're normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark."

Keep your response short and sweet. Don't go into too much detail or ask questions because this can upset the customer who may then add more negative feedback.

Then finally, move the conversation offline. Provide contact info with someone at the business so they can discuss the problem in person. (Note: don't include the business name or keywords in your response . . . you don't want it showing up in search results!)

Getting rid of negative reviews:

If you think a review is in violation of the rules of that review site, contact the review site and discuss your concerns. They're not going to remove a review just because you don't like it, but they do have rules about what is and isn't acceptable.

If you've been able to resolve the situation with a customer, you can ask them to remove the negative review or update it. Odds are they won't take the time, but it doesn't hurt to ask if you've turned things around.

And finally, the best way to minimize the impact of negative reviews is to focus on getting good ones.

It is tough to get happy customers to take the time to give you a great review. Our Brand Manager™ software can help.

 Is Online Reputation About More Than Just Reviews?

Reviews are what most people focus on when thinking about their online reputation and reviews are definitely critical. But remember, there can be other mentions of your brand anywhere on the internet. Are customers finding inaccurate information (e.g., wrong address, phone number, etc.) about you in an online directory? There's a missed opportunity. Are they seeing blog posts that have less than favorable things to say about you? When a potential customer wants to find out more about you, they'll do what we all do . . . go to their favorite search engine. And so it's important to monitor more than just a few review sites in order to effectively manage your online reputation.

But really . . . who has the time to do all of that searching plus monitoring review sites? That's one of the things we love about our Brand Manager™ software. It does all of the legwork for you! Just set up the types of searches you think someone might do (e.g., company name, nicknames people might have for your business, your name, brands, key employees) and the software monitors any mentions of your brand. Then you just log into your Brand Manager™ dashboard to see the results.

And on the subject of saving time, Brand Manager™ is also a big time saver when it comes to reviews. First, it pulls in reviews from all of the various review sites so again you have everything in one place. Then the software also streamlines the process of asking for and getting reviews. Happy customers are more inclined to leave a review if it's easy for them to do so. With Brand Manager™, you can send them a "thank you" email with a link to a review widget that we'll put on your website. They can click the link, express their appreciation and be on their way in minutes. No need for them to try and find your listing to review you or create an account (as some sites require). And best of all, if someone leaves you a bad review, you can decide whether or not it goes live on the internet or just stays between you and the customer.


Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Thanks!