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Even the best businesses get negative reviews. Your well-practiced processes can fail, a poor quality product can slip through or a team member can have a really bad day.
What should you do when you get negative reviews on your Facebook page?
Should you ignore them? Should you delete them?
In this post, we’ll walk you through all the available options and take a look at some best practices.
Handling critical reviews
If you run a business, you are going to get unhappy customers. It’s a simple and unpleasant part of life.
How you handle the genuine criticism matters.
Sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it ever happened can erode customer trust and stall your growth. Plus, they’ll just go air their disgruntlement somewhere else.
If a reviewer bought your product or service and had a genuine negative experience, it’s up to you to fix it as best you can. Mistakes happen. How you handle them defines your company culture and public perception.
When you get a genuine negative review, address the underlying issues and handle it gracefully. What’s upsetting the customer and where did the break in process occur?
These reviews give you an opportunity to show that you are in business for more than just sales. It’s your chance to highlight that you care about your customers and their unique experience. See how U.K. pub The Illicit Still handled the following negative review on its Facebook page.
If the review is critical yet constructive, acknowledge the customer’s point of view and try to get to the bottom of the situation.
Some reviewers have experienced genuine issues. Maybe they were overcharged, the service took longer than acceptable or the amenities were not as advertised.
Bottom line: They feel hurt and irritated.
Deleting these kind of reviews would not do your business any good. But, if you work with them and find a reasonable compromise you can earn their loyalty and support.
Dealing with other kinds of negative reviews
Not all negative reviews you get will be constructive.
Depending on the type of business you run, some reviews may not be directly related to your products and services.
How you handle those is ultimately up to you and will depend on your brand’s values.
The Joy of Knitting, a yarn store based in Franklin, Tennessee faced a similar situation around the time of the Women’s March in Washington DC. The shop’s owner, Elisabeth Poe, felt that the march was counterproductive and expressed that on her Facebook page.
The post brought a slew of strong reactions including strong support and equally strong condemnation. This led to negative reviews from reviewers who strongly supported the Women’s March and what it stood for but hadn’t necessarily been to the store and dealt with it on a business level.
Because the reviews weren’t directly linked to the business, Elisabeth Poe removed them altogether.
If you hold strong beliefs that put you on either side of the political spectrum and strongly influence the way you conduct your business this situation may be familiar. Disabling the reviews altogether can help you shift the focus back to your products and services. On the other hand, leaving the reviews up can serve as a draw for customers that share your beliefs while keeping away ones you’d rather not deal with.
What about fake reviews?
You may get fake reviews. (Trolls don’t spend all their time just hanging out on Twitter.)
Read how this one local Boston business received 100 negative reviews on its Facebook page in mere minutes.
How do you cope with the one star reviews from people who aren’t your customers?
If the review is just vitriol that has nothing to do with your products, breaks Facebook’s standards and adds zero value to your followers, request that Facebook removes that review.
These kind of reviews are spam — they are irrelevant and can hurt your business. Report them.
How to report a negative review
You can’t delete a negative spam or disrespectful review on your Facebook page, but you can report it.
To report a review that doesn’t adhere to Facebook’s Community Standards, go to the review and click on the menu arrow in the top right hand corner.
Click on “report post” and follow the instructions.
Facebook only allows you to report written reviews, so if you’ve just got low stars there’s not much you can do at this point in time.
Even if Facebook’s reporting system was working at peak efficiency, it only allows users to report written reviews. This feature can be abused by competitors and bored people on the internet who don’t like what you or your business stand for.
Now, instead of relying on Facebook reviews, they use their Facebook pages as a means to communicate with fans, share valuable content and update users of what’s going on.
Untruthful reviews can be incredibly damaging to small businesses who work hard on building and maintaining a solid online reputation.
If your Facebook reviews are causing measurable harm to your business, consider disabling ratings and reviews on your Facebook page.
Cultivating transparency on social media
A successful social media account hinges on the trust between you and your followers.
If you delete reviews just because they are negative, you are slowly eroding that trust and abandoning transparency for convenience.
Addressing poor customer experiences to the best of your ability shows potential customers that you care.
On the other hand, reporting irrelevant, abusive and spam reviews to Facebook can help improve the experience for the whole community.
What do you think? How do you deal with negative Facebook reviews?