The ultimate guide on how to intelligently handle negative online reviews

The ultimate guide on how to intelligently handle negative online reviews

Social media are a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness and building your online presence. With the right

Social media are a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness and building your online presence. With the right content and a good strategy, the social media platforms provide you space to quickly transform potential customers into loyal clients. However, your social media story can have two sides.

Just as life, every business comes with ups and downs. Still, there is nothing more frustrating than your downs becoming a hot topic in someone’s newsfeed. Sometimes it looks like negative online social media reviews can make all the work and effort you put into a project seem wasted. Especially if you know that two-thirds of online users are more likely to click on a negative search result than on a positive one.

The truth is far away from that. Although unpleasant and often frustrating, negative reviews are an issue that needs a tactical approach and a fast and smart solution. But, before we explain how to easily monitor and control your online content in every moment, first, let’s go through how to handle negative reviews.


What to do when a negative review happens?

Online reputation management is an essential part of every successful business story. It’s a 24/7 process that requires you to minimize the negative reviews and keep your clients satisfied at the same time. The critical word here is “minimize” because, despite all your efforts, negative reviews can always happen. Moreover, they don’t necessarily have to ruin your business reputation. If you know how to control them, negative reviews can help you understand your target audience better.

Respond publicly and quickly

Negative reviews demand a quick response. When your client’s negative experience is already out there, the worst thing to do is to delete the comment or ignore it. Be polite, considerate and constructive, and always respond publicly. Other customers are also evaluating your communication. By responding to one negative review, you are showing them you pay attention to their opinion, problems, and needs, which is crucial in creating a positive user experience. Let them know their feedback is valuable for you.

Also, by discussing the situation openly online, your audience can see you are willing to correct mistakes, and that you care about the customer feedback. Additionally, you can contact the user in private chat to get more in-depth information and to provide direct contact information of the person working on resolving the problem.

Apologize and offer a solution

Every customer or client who puts a negative review on the social media channels wants to be heard. Therefore, always show gratefulness for receiving their feedback, and that their problems have been acknowledged.

If a misfortunate mistake or failure happened, always accept the responsibility. It is the first step in turning a negative reviewer into a brand advocate. Apologize publicly and then try to continue the conversation in private. Instead of making excuses, offer a solution to turn your customer’s trust back.

Explain how important customer satisfaction is to your brand and that you are willing to take everything in your power to resolve this situation.

Never engage in arguments with detractors

One of the main rules of successful online reputation management is to never engage with detractors. Their motivation is not to solve the situation, but to draw the attention of other customers. By involving in communication under their posts, the issue you want to settle only becomes worse. Moreover, detractors tend to twist your responses and put them in a negative context. Therefore, respond shortly and politely, even if it doesn’t solve the problem.


How not to respond to a negative review?

A lack of response or a poor respond to a negative review can cause even more damage to the company’s online reputation. For example, it is never good to use automated responses to negative reviews. Although they make a convenient solution for responding to the client’s general queries, they are certainly not a way to go with unsatisfied customers.

American Airlines learned it the harder way. In February 2013, the American airline company sent an automatic reply tweet to an angry customer. The problem was that their message “thank you for your support” instead of offering an apology, only made the situation worse. Plus, it made it obvious the company uses automated tweets.

Rule number two, it’s not important how you feel about the negative review; it is all about how the customers feel. Let’s explain this with the huge BP public relations failure after the Deepwater Horizon explosion back in 2010. While doing the interview, the BP CEO Tony Hayward apologized by saying: “We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I’d like my life back.”

Afterward, he had to apologize for that apology via Facebook.

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How can intelligent reputation management services help?

A key to successful online reputation management is to respond and resolve a negative review in the quickest time possible. Therefore, finding out what and when are your clients and customers writing about the brand is one of the biggest challenges in managing the online reputation.

However, without the right tool, this might seem like finding a needle in a haystack, especially if the company uses different social media channels.

Social media monitoring tools provide all the help you need in managing online content and communication.

Mentionlytics provides online reputation management services by using artificial intelligence to analyze each new mention and classify it as positive, negative, or neutral. Companies can intelligently monitor the engagement of the social media community, track comments and filter negative reviews.

Also, this easy-to-use solution supports brand reputation management by alerting the user when there is a negative comment. An immediate response to the unsatisfied customer helps to avert the emerging social media crisis.


How to Use the Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA) for Effective Social Media Monitoring?

By using social media monitoring tools, companies and brands get a better insight and personalized advice on how to improve their social media presence. One of the best examples of such technology is Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA).

As an intelligent AI-driven solution, SIA monitors and analyses mentions, comments, posts, or any other social media content, providing a complete insight into the brand’s online presence in terms of engagement, reach and sentiment.

That way the companies can easily manage their online reputation 24/7, identify trolls and brand’s fans and ambassadors. By finding the most popular websites competitors appear at and providing advice on how to appear there as well, SIA also represents a powerful tool to boost competitiveness and increase market share. Here is how to use it:

Step 1. Adding the Keyword/Tracker

To get started, we need to log into the Mentionlytics app profile and click on the “Add keyword / Tracker” tab.

Step 2. Setting the Mention Tracker category

The mention tracker wizard offers four different groups to monitor:

  • About your brand (such as university name, services, people, etc.)
  • Competitors (you can use the university name, services or people)
  • Industry (marketing leads, commonly used phrases or keywords, etc.)
  • Or you can add to an existing mention tracker.

If we want to monitor the feedback from the social media community, we will choose the “Something About my Brand” category.


Step 3. Naming the Mention Tracker

Mention tracker name is basically a group of keywords and social media profiles we want to monitor. These terms will be used when discussing the brand.


Step 4. Adding the main keyword

After naming the mention tracker, the next step is defining keywords or phrases we want to monitor.  Here, we can choose specific services, products, or people related to the company.


Step 5: Defining the Language, Source or Regions to monitor

By using SIA, the user can customize the places to monitor geographically, by language, or based on a particular source. Also, by setting the data sources, one can choose between monitoring websites, specific social media profiles, or any other source on the web.


Step 6. Adding the Social Profiles to Monitor

By adding the media type, and the URL or the profile name, SIA recognized the specific media profiles to monitor. That way, all the brand`s profiles will be gathered as mentions no matter of the keywords that appear on those profiles.


Step 7. Creating an E-mail Alert

Adding an email address enables SIA to send notifications whenever someone mentions the company or brand.  You can also define the emailing frequency, and the date you want to receive the first email.


Step 8. Completing the Setup

By clicking “confirm,” Mention Tracker starts collecting all content, including keywords related to the company, and covering all posts from its official website and social media profiles.

You are all set up! SIA will start collecting and analyzing data and will give you in return personalized advice in the form of notifications. Just like this!

Social Media Publishing - insights


Use the Power of Social Media Monitoring to Build a Strong Brand

An excellent online reputation is essential for running a successful business, no matter the company size or the industry. Especially if you know that, according to a study by Power Reviews, almost 97% of customers read product reviews before making even a small purchase. So, imagine how many of them could be influenced by one negative review, which wasn’t handled properly and on time.

Also, you have to know that the Internet doesn’t forget anything and that each post or comment published about the brand becomes a part of a permanent online image. That way, even outdated information or negative reviews can be ranked if seen as relevant by the search engines.

Investing in effective online reputation management services will help manage negative comments and highlight good customer feedback and reviews.

About John Kopanakis

John is a co-founder of Mentionlytics supervising Business Development and Business Processes. He is a Professor of Business Intelligence with interests in Data Analytics and Innovation.