Tips For Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

It was reported recently that a Sydney plastic surgeon was taking a woman to federal court over defamation claims. The woman in question proceeded to post a series of fake online reviews after the surgeon refused to operate on her. These posts were enough to damage his five-star rating on Google, and therefore, he decided to take legal action.

A bad review (fake or not) can happen in any business, whether you’re a high profile surgeon or a clinic with a team of three therapists. While it may not be severe enough to take the individual to court, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage of a bad online review.

Here are four steps to follow when you get a bad online review.

Respond promptly

Say there is a fire. Emergency responders don’t stop to get a doughnut and a coffee along the way. They speed with lights and sirens because getting to wherever it may be promptly will save lives and property. A bad review isn’t a life or death situation, but dealing with it swiftly will minimise the amount of damage to your business and reputation.

Act professionally

When someone speaks negatively of your business, something that is very dear to your heart, it can be difficult not to let your emotions get involved. Receiving a lousy review sucks. However, you need to respond professionally and politely. Taking the high-road will be the quickest route to a solution.

Hot tip: If a review is indeed fake, you can request for it to be removed by Google.

Take things offline

Once you have acknowledged the review, offer to take it offline and out of the public eye to resolve the issue. If the bad review is genuine, it means that someone has experienced sub-par service at your spa or clinic and it should be rectified. Offer up an email contact where you and the client can talk in private. A solution might be a discount on a future treatment or a follow up appointment to fix the issue. Finally, follow up on the public review with the agreed outcome. If everything is resolved within a couple of hours of the review being posted, it’s much better for your optics from a potential client POV.

Encourage more reviews

As the saying goes, you might get ten compliments on how lovely you look but the one person who tells you ‘green isn’t your colour’ will probably stick in your mind. Reviews, good or bad, are a vital part of any business. They inform you of what you’re getting right and what you need to improve on. Encourage customers to leave honest reviews after their treatments as this is valuable information you can use to your advantage.

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