Collecting feedback from your customers is valuable. Comments, compliments, and yes, even complaints provide invaluable insight into a company. Sometimes insight into things that you might not know is happening or is otherwise important to customers. Reading critiques about your business and how your business operates offers a neat third-party view into your operations. The problem is that many businesses choose to ignore them, to their own detriment.
A unique study cited by the Harvard Business Review went through hundreds of comments on TripAdvisor and found that only one-third of those comments and reviews received a response. One-third! That is woefully low. Especially as you consider why customers leave feedback. Customers leave feedback for two key reasons. First, they want to inform others about their experience. Second, they want to give you the business a record of their experience. Often it’s a good experience, but sometimes it wasn’t good. A scathing rebuke may even have you quickly searching out ways for how to remove complaints from the complaints board.
Stop. Before you remove negative content from Google search, consider the following:
- Comments and complaints are opportunities to get personal with your audience. First things first, never give out canned responses to reviews. Positive or negative reviews. Basic reviews are impersonal reviews. Remember, people are leaving content partly because they want your business to understand the experience. Respond to them appropriately by being thoughtful and personalized. Could you respond directly to comments they made? This will always improve your standing both for the reviewer and everyone reading afterward. That’s because this level of response shows you care.
- Don’t be afraid to defend your business where necessary. Okay, sometimes the criticisms are harsh. Sometimes you should go that extra step to defend your business or employees. This happens when customers get the situation wrong or didn’t have the full story. In situations where you know without a doubt that a negative review got it wrong, please don’t remove the bad review — rebuke it back! One story that we love to bring up here is this one in which a restaurant-goer complained about how a fellow diner’s having a heart attack ruined their meal. Instead of ignoring or removing what was obviously a mean and uninformative review, the rest, the restaurant fired back in the comments. They were then hailed as heroes, the story went viral, and they earned more patrons, not less.
- Do get help when necessary. Finally, when reviews do get crazy and make personal attacks, unfounded accusations, or the cementers refuse to adjust false statements, it may be time to call in for assistance. A professional online reputation management team can help you remove bad reviews to highlight the good ones and the ones that show you’re improving. This is especially useful in situations of downvote brigades.
Removing bad reviews is an important part of online reputation management services, but it isn’t the only one. Contact our team today to learn more about how a reputation management team can help your business.