How to Manage Online Reviews Without Losing Your Mind

How to Manage Reviews for a Small Business Without Losing Your Mind

Online review management can make anyone crazy, even without an influx of bad reviews.

How do you respond to everyone without sounding like a broken record? How do you manage negative reviews when they come? What if the review is unfair? What if your average rating drops? What if…?

Review management is enough to drive anyone mad.

Don’t worry. We have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you stay sane while you manage your online reviews.

How to Manage Online Reviews

First, before we get started, make sure you’re not just now hopping into online review management.

Check out our advice on claiming your review listings if you haven’t already. Then, make sure you’ve brushed up on a few ways to generate positive reviews.

Now that you have the basics down, let’s dive into keeping your sanity through review management.

1. Nail Down Negative Review Responses

Not all businesses will respond to negative reviews the same way. However, remember that negative reviews have value for your business. It’s all in how you use them. You have a few basic options to choose from:

  1. Try responding genuinely and making a change to your business as a result of customer feedback.
  2. Don’t respond at all. (We do not recommend this route. All reviews should have a reply.)
  3. Use humor to break the ice and attract more customers, like these inspirational business owners. (Use this method at your own risk. WPBR is not liable for businesses or customers without humor.)

Whichever route you choose, make sure you know how you will always approach a negative review before you begin responding.

2. Have a Funny Meme Ready

You can’t go wrong with something that will make you chuckle! Keep a funny meme on hand to make yourself laugh. If you keep it to yourself, NSFW memes are perfect. However, we recommend also keeping a more appropriate version on hand.

Laughter can make even the worst review seem like a distant memory.

Laughter can make even the worst review seem like a distant memory. Click To Tweet

3. Print a Photo of Your Best… and Worst… Customers for Inspiration

Tape a photo of your best and worst customers who left reviews and use them as inspiration to reply to others! Speak out loud to their photos until you say something that makes sense and will make your business look good.

A woman at a computer with customer photos on the wall.

In web development, this is known as the rubber duck method. We just took it a little further.

4. Keep Some Kind Feedback Around

Similarly, you can print some of your favorite positive reviews to keep front and center when things get rough. Keeping a board of happy comments around can help pull you out of a black hole of negativity when you have too many recent bad reviews.

5. Walk Away and Regroup When Things Get Tough

Let’s be honest, some reviews can be brutal. In some cases, they might even attack you personally.

Walk away.

It’s okay to regroup when you’re managing reviews. Not all will be winners and some will make you feel like a loser.

Here’s some advice from Big Orange Heart to pick yourself up when you’re down.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Throw Things

The beauty of online reviews is that they are online. That way, you can throw things and take your anger out behind the scenes before you reply. Just make sure no customers are around when you choose to throw a tantrum.

7. When in Doubt, Double Down on Review Generation

There are tons of ways to improve your reviews as well. Most strategies simply increase your overall number of incoming reviews. So try a few things to generate more positive reviews for your own business:

  1. Implement an email campaign to generate reviews and add a buffer for public negative feedback by allowing customers to complain internally first.
  2. Add in-store WiFi with an email subscription gate to follow-up with a review request later.
  3. Not everything is about gathering reviews. Adding customer success to your business model will help generate more positive reviews.

8. Search for the Kernel of the Truth

Even if “the customer is always right” isn’t always true, dig into their perspective. Truth is reality, so what was their reality?

Even if this customer is annoyed that the “sour beer” tasted too sour, is there anything you can do to manage expectations better next time?

Sometimes the customer is just a lost cause and that’s fine too. Know when that is the case and reply as amicably as you can to show onlookers that you’re attentive to unsatisfied customers.

9. Use Your Website to Both Praise and Shame Customers

You can use WP Business Reviews to display your best reviews on your website. This will help you always have something positive to look at when you’re feeling down. It also helps convert customers, but we’re talking about mental health here.

Conversely, you could even use this to shame some of your worst reviews. This is a little similar to method number three in our first bit of advice in this article. Although, this route is a little more extreme and may actually cost you business in the end. It will, however, help your mental state for the time being.

10. Handwrite What You Really Want to Say… Then Burn It

Write a cathartic review of your customer… and then burn it. It’s a wonderful feeling. Just make sure you don’t burn your office down, please.

11. As a Last Resort, Lean on a Vice

At the end of the day, make sure you have a way to relax and let go. Whatever your vice is, go for it… because it all begins again tomorrow.

Don’t Lose Your Head Over Online Review Management

Online reviews, even the bad ones, help your business attract new customers. It’s all about how you handle your review management. So, don’t lose your cool. Follow this advice to stay sane while you reply to online reviews.

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