Navigating Negative Online Reviews (Infographic)

There was a time when word of mouth was king. While it still has its place, online reviews can make or break businesses in many cases. In fact, 97 percent of people read online reviews about local businesses before going. 

This is great news if you have numerous glowing reviews. But, what about those one-star reviews cropping up? Are those the end of your establishment? 

How to Get the Most from Negative Reviews

No two people are the same, but fortunately a lot of negative reviewers tend to stick to tried and true formulas. This is especially true for people that leave false reviews. Even better? Negative reviews can actually be a good thing for your business when handled properly. Here’s how to get the most out of those negative reviews.

  •  Respond to them (be nice): Responding to reviews can be good or bad. If you leave a really canned, fake reply, you’re in for a world of hurt. If you take the time to craft a personal, caring response, you can do wonders for your brand. A proper reply shows others that you truly care about your customers and can redeem that one star review and even attract new business.

  • Be human: Nobody’s perfect, and neither are businesses. A few negative reviews can help people feel confident your review page isn’t full of fake, paid reviews. And again, negative reviews give you the chance to reply and show that there are real humans behind the name of the establishment.

  • Track consistent negative feedback: If you see numerous negative complaints in a row, this could be more than a fluke. Look at the negative reviews and see if you can spot any trends. Are people complaining about something similar? If so, this could point to a problem you need to address ASAP. For example, if everyone’s complaining about the steak, maybe you need to talk to your chef or look into a new vendor. 

See? Negative reviews aren’t all bad. Obviously you don’t want the majority of your reviews to be negative, but a few here and there won’t destroy you. Remember to keep calm when responding and be genuine, and you can get through this.

Common Negative Reviews and How to Handle Them

When it comes to negative reviews, there are definitely some common threads and archetypes that pop up. People aren’t necessarily copying and pasting reviews across the internet, but many negative reviewers follow certain trends. 

Fortunately, Fundera has created a helpful visual that details how you can handle negative online reviewers. Take careful note of these negative reviewer personas and see if you can spot any on your business pages. With careful planning and an even more careful approach, you can properly reply to these reviews.