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Review Engine: Positive and Negative Reviews


What to do with Reviews?


Positive Reviews

Congratulations! You did a great job, provided excellent service and you’ve been rewarded with a positive review. There are a few things you can do with a positive review.


Idea 1: Add Review to Your Business Profile Page

 Positive reviews do wonderful things for your business. Did you know that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Get the most mileage out of that review and make sure plenty of people see it by posting it to your business profile page.

  • Step 1: Click here to see your available reviews in the OutboundEngine dashboard.
  • Step 2: Read through reviews.
  • Step 3: If you’re satisfied with a review, click “Display” on the review to add to your Business Profile Page.


Idea 2: Reply to the Review

 Reviews will speak for themselves, but if there’s one that stands out more than the rest or someone went above and beyond with praise, show them your appreciation.

 When replying to an outstanding review, make sure you’re simply thanking them for their kind words and not trying to get anything from them. Don’t promise them gifts, ask them to tell their friends or do anything else.


Idea 3: Reach Out Offline

Now that you know you’ve got a fan, a positive review is a good indication that someone would be an ideal candidate for referral leads, a testimonial or even case study.

Use your best judgment here, but if the transaction is recent and you’ve got a solid relationship with the person, reach out to them offline and see if they’d be interested in helping you out.

Negative Reviews

Take a deep breath and remember that bad online reviews happen. It’s not the end of the world and there are plenty of things you can do about it. While you can always let a negative review be (and that’s sometimes the best course of action), you can also reach out to the reviewer, establish a genuine human relationship and work to change their perspective.

 Remember, the goal of reaching out to a negative reviewer is to show other readers of that review that you’re a concerned business owner who listens to customers. If you get them to remove or change it, that’s icing on the cake.


Step 1: Determine if the Review Needs a Response

  • Sometimes, a review isn’t all that bad and other times, they’re outright vicious.
  • Reviews that are factual but negative, and predominantly just minor complaints can be ignored. If you feel you must post something, keep it short, thank them for their feedback and leave it at that.
  • For the all out rants, use your best judgement when approaching these.
    • If what they’re saying is completely false, there’s not much that can be done to fix the situation. More on takedown actions in a bit.
    • If what they’ve posted is mostly true and there is some wrongdoing on your part, this might be one to reply to. Just don’t get into a he said/she said scenario.
    • If what was posted is true and something that’s a genuine concern, respond!
  • Just remember that with reviews, they’re more than likely going to stay there. You can try disputing the review, but this rarely changes anything. You need to have a lot of evidence that the reviewer is 100% in the wrong for a takedown to happen.  


Step 2: Gather the Facts and Collect Your Thoughts

  • You’ve read the review and it’s time to reply. Stop! Don’t reply in the moment; take a second to cool down, collect information about their complaint and get your thoughts together.
  • When crafting your reply, make sure to thank them for bringing something to your attention, address legitimate concerns brought up in the review, and work to constructively resolve the issue.


Step 3: Reply Privately

  • Sometimes a minor issue can be resolved with a quick phone call or email. If you have the ability to do this and you feel that reaching out to this person directly will be the best approach, go for it.
  • Yelp provides a way for business owners to reply directly to reviewers. Use this method for minor issues and thank that person for the input. Be genuine.


Step 4: Reply Publicly

  • Sometimes you might not have the luxury of being able to reply offline and when that happens, your reply will be public. This is both good and bad.
  • Bad because a public reply can easily trigger the reviewer to continue to reply in an even worse manner. Some people don’t want a resolution and you can’t fix that.
  • But public replies are good because it shows others reading the reviews that you care enough to try and remedy the situation.
  • With public replies, winning an argument with a frustrated customer is difficult. In your reply, remember to:
    • be nice and keep things professional
    • don’t get personal
    • address legitimate concerns
    • and keep it short and sweet.
  • Provide some way for the reviewer to get in touch with you to discuss an issue further or to help provide a resolution. A name, phone number and/or email address work well.


Best Practices

  • Even with the worst of the worst, thank the reviewer for reaching out to you.
  • Don’t lash out. Even if you’re in the right, it won’t ever end in your favor.
  • Use the same logic you would apply to a face-to-face interaction.
  • Work to find a resolution offline. This can only escalate online and become even more permanent.
  • Don’t respond while you’re angry. This won’t end well.
  • Present your case. If there are elements to a negative review that the reviewer isn’t mentioning that help your case, consider including that in your reply. Maybe you attempted to remedy the situation already and this person is just here to rant. Defend yourself without being aggressive.
  • Address legitimate concerns only. You can waste a lot of time on people who will simply never be happy. Issues that are in your control and are negative reflections on your business are worth you addressing.


Things to Remember

  • Not every angry person will have a change of heart.
  • Your best efforts might make the situation worse. Make sure you get all the facts straight before deciding on how to craft a reply.
  • Don’t ask people to take a review down. This will make things worse for you, especially if you haven’t resolved anything for that person.
  • After you’ve addressed a problem and the person is once again satisfied, you can then ask them if they might update their review to reflect your efforts. They might update it or they might take it down. Leave it up to them.
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