Recently, one of my friends who owns a hair salon asked me what could be done about a bad business review on the Internet. He explained the customer had made false statements in the review, and he was concerned that the comments would cost him future business.
Customer reviews on the Internet are helpful tools for consumers, but they can cause problems for business owners if an unhappy customer decides to go on the attack with a poison-pen. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to my friend and it could happen to you as well. So what do you do to combat an erroneous and unfair review?
The good news is less than 25 percent of shoppers say they are unlikely to do business with a company because of a negative review. Most consumers know that even businesses with a stellar customer service record won’t be able to please everyone 100 percent of the time.
However, if as in my friend’s case, the review contains false statements, email the site’s Webmaster with proof the information posted is false and ask that the review be removed. Typically you can find the Webmaster information in at the bottom of the web page. In most cases, sites will remove the comments because they want consumers to trust the information on their site, but there is no guarantee.
If you aren’t successful in getting the web site to remove the false review then neutralize it by creating a positive image on the Internet for your business. Ask your loyal customers to post an honest review for your business in their own words. (In other words, don’t write it for them.) One negative review surrounded by positive comments will certainly lose its impact.
In today’s market every business needs a professional presence on the web. If you haven’t already, you should secure a personal domain name for your business and create a web site. There are many web-hosting and design resources today that allow you to register your domain, get personalized email addresses and create a professional looking web site easily and affordably.
In addition to your web site, create pages for your business on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You should also consider starting a blog for your business and posting if on appropriate community sites.
The more relevant and positive information about your business there is on the web, the less visible a negative review will be.