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I got a negative review - now what?

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You take pride in your business, so when a dissatisfied customer takes to the internet to write a negative review, we know it can feel like a personal attack on you and your facility. But don't despair! While negative reviews are a reality of doing business online, research shows that negative reviews are actually an opportunity to show off your great customer service - not a disaster that will destroy your online reputation.

While it may seem counterintuitive, web-marketing industry leaders agree that the occasional negative review will actually make your business look better and more reliable in the long run. Most consumers are reasonable people - they understand that no business can possibly satisfy everyone's needs and expectations. In fact, consumers are so confident in this certainty that research shows they're skeptical of businesses with no negative online reviews. It makes sense: consider the last time you searched for a product or service online. Weren't you wary of businesses with too many glowing reviews?

So, although your first instinct might be to attempt to have a negative review removed, remember that consumer confidence in your business is just as important as positive feedback. While negative reviews aren't necessarily a bad thing, it's what you do next that matters most.  

So, you got a negative review - now what?

Post a public reply

  • Engage with the customer and remain a part of the online conversation. This is your opportunity to set your prospective customers' minds at ease by being polite, professional and respectful. No matter how false you believe the reviewer's account to be, remember they were asked for their opinion of their experience - and an opinion can't be wrong.
  • Check out our article about review reply best practices for some tips about how to make the most of this opportunity. And above all, take all the time you need to cool off and clear your head before you reply - you don't want your reply to get noticed for the wrong reasons.

Take if offline

  • If the reviewer is a current tenant at your facility or you have their contact information on file, reach out to see if you can make the issue right. Not only is this an example of great customer service, it may also prompt the customer to add an addendum to their review or to request that it be taken down altogether. That said, it's best to let the customer offer; asking them to reconsider can make it seem as though you had ulterior motives in solving their issue, and could lead to more harm than good.

Get more reviews

  • Industry research has shown that your overall number of reviews matters to consumers far more than whether your reviews are all positive. Accumulating more than 10 reviews on your listing shows that your facility is well-established, which will encourage consumer confidence. And, recency counts! Even if you're not looking to compensate for a negative review, it's still best practice to ensure that you acquire at least one new review per month.
  • The SpareFoot Review Request tool offers a free and easy way to request reviews from your most satisfied tenants; new reviews from happy customers will quickly bury your negative review in the past.

Remember, don't be discouraged and keep on keepin' on! Negative reviews may be here to stay, but the right response can turn the whole experience into a win for you and your facility.

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