How to Beat Negative Reviews

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Let’s face it: If you’re having any measure of success as a marine dealer, you’re bound to have something go wrong with a customer who might opt to write a negative review or give your dealership a low rating. Even the finest dealership won’t please everyone. So, what to do?

What got me thinking about this was the trouble I encountered in getting a satisfactory response from my central air servicer. Perhaps, I pondered, I should look into writing a negative review about how this firm that installed the system has failed to follow up satisfactorily? It triggered my further examination of negative reviews and led me to discover how to deal with them when some customers turn to ratings and reviews that express their no-so-complimentary opinions.

“You can actually use negative reviews to improve your current marketing strategy,” contends Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms, a drag-and-drop form builder for WordPress that's used on over 4,000,000 websites. Addressing the issues and concerns brought up can actually help your brand attract relevant customers and encourage others.”

Here are three tips that can help you get started turning a negative review into positive result:

1) It’s important to understand when customers or prospects look up ratings for your dealership, they don’t expect five-star ratings across the board; if that’s all they see when they search your brand, it will raise suspicions. It’s unrealistic to think that a business will never encounter an unsatisfied customer or face an unpleasant review.

2) Believe it or not, insists Atchison, seeing some negative reviews helps your brand build trust with your audience. When you receive negative feedback, take it in stride and remember that it can help your business grow. It demonstrates your brand’s transparency and supports its positive reputation.

3) It’s a good time to ramp up customer engagement. Settle down and think of it this way: When someone leaves a review, they’re choosing to share their experience with you. Customer feedback gives you the opportunity to improve as well as address questions and concerns. In doing so, you can boost customer engagement and build loyalty.

Atchison urges negative reviews are a call to positively respond to a problem and offer a way to make things right. There’s nothing you can do about mistakes already made. Rather, putting in effort can go a long way with customers. It’s not only helpful but necessary to respond to negative feedback and offer solutions.

Apologizing for the setback and encouraging a conversation with your customer service team to rectify the issue shows that you understand their frustration. They want you to demonstrate you care about their experience and your business isn’t only about making a profit.

Negative feedback always seems daunting at first, but how else would you be able to identify potential issues in your dealership? Whether it’s your products, customer service, your website or something else, you want to know about it and make sure your strategy is refined to get the best results possible. You need to hear what’s working and what isn’t.

Customers writing negative reviews usually don’t hold back on sharing information about your business, or at least their view. To blow them off as meaningless grumblers means you can’t improve what you don’t take seriously. So, even though no dealership likes receiving them, they’re still necessary and helpful.

The more you listen to such concerns, the better your business will operate and the more loyal your customers will be.

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