How to respond to negative online reviews

When a customer posts criticism of your business, there are steps you can take. Be careful, though, because addressing that criticism can make it more visible in searches.

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To be a business owner, you’ve got to have thick skin.

Sooner or later (probably sooner) somebody’s going to offer a word of criticism, and whether that criticism is right or wrong, you can’t take it personally.

We all know this, but it’s hard to abide by it; no matter how tough we are, it hurts to have someone speak negatively about something so important to us. When it comes to online reviews, however, the problem isn’t just that they can bruise the ego. Online criticism can hurt a business’s bottom line.

The importance of online reviews

Statistically speaking, 70 percent of all consumers use online reviews to guide their purchasing decisions. The people running social networks such as Facebook and Google+ are certainly aware of the increased prominence of online reviews, which is why—in an effort to be all things to all people—they’re steadily boosting the role of online reviews. Go to most any business page on either social media platform, and you’re sure to see some star ratings and words of customer feedback.

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