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What to Do about Negative Online Reviews

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Word of mouth and in print used to be the only way people would review your store but, thanks to the internet, everyone can share their opinion which might be read by hundreds, or even thousands, of people.

Businesses can be ruined by just one little internet issue and this can begin with a bad review. Some reviews are because you messed up somehow while others are just vindictive and untrue.

Situation #1: You Did Something Wrong

Rather than trying to cover this up, it’s usually best to admit to your mistake and then try to grow from it. Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes. So, if this is the situation you’re currently in, it’s best to apologize straightaway in a genuine-sounding way.

When done properly, people will see that you handled the situation professionally and have more respect for you and your business.

If you aren’t sure what happened exactly, you can simply state that you’re looking into it. If you just ignore the problem, others will speculate and come out with inaccurate facts just because they like to gossip or they’re curious.

Try not to take a bad review personally. Some people might leave a negative comment and it could just be because they were having a bad day when they penned their review. Still be friendly, apologize and say you hope they will come back so you can make it right.

Situation #2: The Feedback is Unfair or Untrue

What do you do if your business receives unfair or untrue feedback? It’s best to contact the customer, sending a friendly message asking for further information. Come across as willing to fix the situation, and this shows others reading the review and your response that you care about your customers and want to help them.

The key here is to keep everything friendly but businesslike. Never get personal else you will just be digging yourself into a deeper hole.

If someone seems to be posting for attention or you suspect there’s some foul play (not every store owner gets on well with the competition and underhand tricks aren’t unknown), you can still delete and ban those reviewers on your social media page or report them if it’s on a public review website such as Yelp.

You can always shut off your review page for a while as you get to the bottom of the situation. To do this on Facebook, click on Page Settings then Templates and Tabs. You will be able to toggle reviews on or off on there.

In Conclusion

Try not to take bad reviews to heart. Even the most-loved brands get the occasional one and it really isn’t the end of the world. If you have hundreds of great reviews and just a couple of negative ones, your current and future customers will still trust you as a reputable company.

Remember everybody makes mistakes now and then. Something as simple as an accidentally sensitive remark to a customer or delays in the availability of stock can often be remedied by a simple, friendly apology and showing willingness to help put things right.

The above content is brought to you by 3 Minute Reads. A carefully curated marketing info, tech, and actionable advice for FFL dealers everywhere. All consumed in 3 minutes or less.

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