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How to handle bad online reviews.

Your company just got a negative review on Facebook.  The customer said some pretty terrible things about one of your employees.  Or they complained about a rate increase.   Or they claimed you didn’t call them back fast enough.  Whatever the situation, they’re angry and now YOU look bad.

So what do you do?  How do you do damage control to your online reputation fast?

Here are some proven steps you can take!

Monitor Your Reviews
The first step to make sure that you are monitoring your review profiles and getting a notification whenever someone leaves one.  This way you know exactly what is being said and can respond quickly.

For Facebook, you probably already receive notifications, but Google can be trickier.  Go to Google My Business and make sure to register your business name and address.  This allows you to claim the location and receive emails and updates when a review is left.

Respond To Every Single One – Good and Bad
Now when your receive a notification, you need to respond that day if possible.  Plan to respond to every review you receive whether it is 1 star or 5 star!  Thank your 5 star reviewers for taking time to leave a review and helping your agency.
For the negative reviews, you’ll need to write a little more.  First, always acknowledge their complaint and their pain, even if it seems ridiculous to you.  If an apology is appropriate, include that too.

“I completely understand that you’re unhappy with our response time and I apologize for the delay.”

Next do your best to offer a solution if possible.  
You could offer to call them, contact company support, or take other action.
Remember that your main goal here is to show OTHER people that you are taking care of the client and willing to help improve the situation.  The client with the 1 star review may be a lost cause at this point, but you need other people reading this review to see that you are making an effort to take care of your clients.
Studies have shown that the business owners response to a negative review is MORE important than the review itself!  So ignoring them is always a bad option.  Do your best to apologize for any mistakes, acknowledge their complaint, and take action when possible.

Get More Positive Reviews To Offset The Negative
Negative reviews are going to happen occasionally.  We all know that there is nothing you can do about these situations, but you still often take the blame.
The best way to handle negative reviews is to offset them with many more positive reviews!

Your happy clients are often very willing to leave a review, they just don’t think to do it.  That’s why asking for reviews is so important.  By creating a steady stream of 5 star reviews, the occasional 1 or 2 star won’t do as much damage.

Never let another negative review stop you from getting inbound phone calls and losing out on new business again!  Create a system of generating new positive reviews and quickly responding to negatives.

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