How To Turn Negative Online Reviews Into Positive Ones

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It takes a bit of work to clear out negative reviews, but this three-step process is an effective way to deal with even some of your harshest critics:

  1. First, address every negative comment online, but take the conversation offline
  2. Come to a resolution with the customer
  3. Once a resolution has been reached, ask them to remove the negative comment, or to edit it in a positive light
Negative To Positive Testimonial

Below, you’ll find out how to transform negative reviews into positive ones.

Addressing A Negative Comment

Time is of the essence here. The longer a negative comment sits, the more people will tend to believe it. When there’s no response from the company, people can start to believe the company doesn’t care enough to try to make things right.

Before you respond, take a breath and make sure you cast off any anger. Even if the review is totally out of line, you won’t win friends by fighting back. Even though the customer isn’t always right, you don’t want to win the battle and lose the war.

The best course of action is to express sympathy for the reviewer and ask if you can contact them offline to resolve the situation.

It’s a good idea to take your conversation offline because some people are mean enough to have a public debate just to trash your company by being unreasonable or immature.

On a smaller note, taking your conversation offline also avoids tempting people to write negative reviews just so they can score free stuff.

Showing you care enough to have a personal conversation indicates to other visitors that you’re willing to go the extra step to make things right.

Come To A Resolution

You won’t always be able to change someone’s mind, but when someone fires off a quick, nasty note, you might be surprised by how quickly they change their mind when they talk to a real person.

Sometimes, they just want an apology. Other times, your business made mistakes, and it’s your opportunity to make it right. Listen and make the necessary changes.

Whether they accept your apology or not, you can report back online that you talked to the person and apologized. If you’re wrong, admit it. Fix the problem, and you may just have a loyal customer.

Ask Them To Update Their Review

Imagine the power of a potential customer seeing a negative review posted about your company, reading your personal response, and seeing that the original reviewer was taken care of in a professional and caring manner. That action establishes a sense of trust that, even if something doesn’t work out, you will do right by the customer.

Turning A Negative Into A Positive

Even if you can't get the negative comment removed, addressing it can turn a negative into a positive.

Dealing with a negative review in the right way can actually boost confidence: 15% of online shoppers reported that they are more likely to do business with a company which responded to a negative review and dealt with it successfully, according to a study done by the Trust Economy Report.

You’re not only responding to a negative review to make the reviewer happy.

You’re responding to show anyone that reads the review that you’re part of an honest company that values your customers.

Customers Value Transparency

If there are no negative reviews at all, consumers may be suspicious that someone’s been deleting the bad ones. Businesses that deal effectively with criticism — quickly and openly — can turn a negative review into a positive experience.

The mark of a great business is not that it never makes mistakes. A great business is judged by how it deals with its mistakes and makes things right.