People who post Facebook reviews usually fall into two groups; people who want to share a positive experience, and those who want to publicly trash your business.
Unfortunately, it’s the bad reviews that often grab customers’ attention.
You probably can’t prevent getting a few negative reviews, but you can learn to respond to them in a way that wins customers, restores relationships and boosts your reputation online.
Facebook Reviews vs Comments
Feedback online can come in different forms. On Facebook, negative feedback can take the form of reviews or comments. When a user reviews a business, Facebook clearly marks the post as reviewed and the user includes a star rating.
Comments are responses to posts on your Facebook wall. Comments are not marked as reviewed and do not have a star rating.
You can hide, delete or report comments for breaking Facebook guidelines.
You can take it a step further by blocking the user who made the negative comment. Comments can even be pre-moderated by setting up a list of blocked words via the Facebook moderation panel.
Reviews cannot be pre-moderated, hidden or deleted.
The only option for moderating reviews is to report them for breaking Facebook guidelines, and even then, Facebook may not delete them. You can’t delete reviews just because they’re negative.
How to Respond to Facebook Reviews
Because your business is so limited on how you can moderate reviews, learning to respond to them is essential. Here are a few rules of thumb to remember when tackling poor Facebook reviews.
You should always respond to bad reviews.
Of course, your business can choose not to respond to bad reviews, but you risk losing new business and old customers. Every negative review is an opportunity to learn about how to improve your company and gives you the chance to build long-term relationships with customers.
Your response or non-response to reviews influences customers’ perception of your brand. Nearly 52% of customers expect to hear back from brands within seven days of giving a negative online review. When brands respond to customers, 65% of customers become more loyal to the brand, and 25% percent are less likely to go somewhere else to post negative things.
Hoping that the issue will blow over is not recommended – responding in the right way to a bad review can mend customer relationships, and help consumers see your business in a positive light again.
Don’t respond to reviews using your personal account.
If someone leaves you a review on Facebook, it is best to respond as your business. If you respond with your personal Facebook account, there isn’t any way for the reviewer to know your affiliation with your brand. Respond using your business account so there isn’t any confusion.
Use the reviewer’s name and give a full apology. Thank the customer for visiting your business and taking the time to give feedback. Responding graciously to valid complaints will look good to other consumers reading the interaction, while being gentle and professional in dealing with crazy or unreasonable comments can also be a win.
Own up to your mistakes.
Be specific, acknowledge the customer’s concerns and avoid excuses. Let the customer know how you’ll prevent the problem from happening in the future. You may not like the stars the reviewer gave you, but they at least let you know what went wrong so that you can prevent the issue in the future. Plus, if you resolve the customer’s issue, he or she may be willing to change the review.
Keep it short and don’t be defensive.
Write a short reply that shows that you’ve understood the issue raised. In general, assume a non-aggressive posture when answering criticisms online.
Make things right.
After apologizing, offer to make things right. Reassure the customer by explaining how the issue has been resolved. As a sweetener, you could offer a discount or a freebie to welcome them back next time.
A negative Facebook review is scary and intimidating to most business owners—but instead of panicking and immediately reporting reviews, stop and think about how to respond. The right response can turn disappointed customers into loyal brand advocates.
If you’re still a little unsure of how to handle reviews, Ureview.me can help. You can use Ureview.me to monitor your Facebook reviews and drive more positive reviews to your page. Schedule a free demo now to get started.