Online reviews are an essential component for building trust with consumers. While businesses may wish for only good reviews, the reality is that every automotive business will at some point have to have to deal with a negative review. As frustrating as the situation is, responding to negative reviews is a crucial part of reputation management. Learning how to react to negative reviews is an essential skill that business leaders need to know.
Responding effectively to negative reviews can even have a positive effect on your business. Consumers are increasingly depending on reviews to make purchase decisions. Most consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. While the value of good reviews is clear to see, the ability to professionally and politely respond to a negative review can also be revealing, demonstrating your business ethics to customers as well as how much you value their opinions. You can depend on Safeguard’s specialized digital marketing strategies to drive your success.
Is it illegal to leave a bad review on a business?
Consumer reviews, including negative reviews, are protected as free speech under the first amendment. In 2016 Congress passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) to protect consumers’ ability to leave an honest online review of a business without being punished. However, while consumers have the right to share their experiences and opinions, these reviews do need to be truthful. If a review is intentionally false or defamatory, then businesses can pursue legal action against the reviewer.
Why You Should React to Negative Reviews
Over 90 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews to help them make purchase decisions. Consumers use a wide variety of review sites, social media channels, and even automotive-specific sites. If you own an automotive business, you likely already know how important online reviews are and how positive reviews can help attract new customers and boost your reputation. For this reason, many businesses actively encourage customers to leave reviews, with some businesses even offering incentives.
Unfortunately, even though you hope that the majority of your reviews will be positive, all businesses do periodically receive negative reviews as well. It isn’t always easy, but responding to these negative reviews is an important part of managing your reputation and persuading potential customers to visit you. Responding to negative reviews can be an opportunity to rectify any issues or concerns. Your customer might change their review when they see that their opinion is valued, and it’s a chance to show other prospects your willingness to try to make things right.
How to React to Negative Reviews
#1 Respond to the Review in a Timely Manner
The quicker a customer hears from you, the more sincere your response will feel to them. Monitoring reviews and responding to negative reviews shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be a priority. If a customer feels dissatisfied enough to post a negative review of your business, responding to their concerns should take precedence over other tasks. Ideally, businesses should try to respond within 1 to 2 days from the time the review was posted.
#2 Acknowledge the Issue
If you made a mistake, take responsibility and apologize for not meeting expectations. Apologies should be sincere and to the point, demonstrating that you care about providing a high level of service. In some cases, an apology just by itself is enough to appease the customer. However, in some cases, you may also need to provide more information to clear up a misunderstanding. Remember that even when offering a more in-depth explanation of the situation you shouldn’t make excuses for what happened. In some instances, you may not think that the customer is right. Even in these situations, it’s still important to acknowledge the customer’s experience, and you thank them for their feedback.
#3 Offer to Find a Solution
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to fix what happened, but if the issue can be fixed, then do your best to fix it. That might include giving the customer a refund or offering a free service or product. Part of finding a solution may involve inviting the customer to take the conversation offline so you can discuss the issue in detail. Your efforts to fix the problem demonstrate to the customer that you are sincere in your efforts to provide a positive experience.
No matter how hard you try to provide a positive experience for every customer, negative reviews will happen from time to time. Because online reviews influence the way customers think about your business, responding to these negative reviews is an important responsibility. At Safeguard, our automotive marketing experts specialize in digital marketing strategies. Your advisor has tips, ideas, and traffic-driving solutions for your automotive business. Call 844-4CARBIZZ to get started.
- Online reviews are an essential component for building trust with consumers.
- Responding to negative reviews can be an opportunity to rectify any issues or concerns.
- Responding promptly, acknowledging the issue, and offering to find a solution are all steps for how to react to negative reviews.
- Safeguard’s automotive marketing experts specialize in digital marketing strategies.