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How to Handle Negative Customer Reviews

Handling Negative Customer ReviewsLet’s be honest, nobody really likes being criticized. Sure, the point of genuine criticism is to help you make adjustments and get better for the future, but it’s still not easy to hear most of the time. The same is true when someone critiques your business. You’ve put so much hard work into developing a product or service that you are extremely proud of, and along comes a disgruntled customer who slams you online. While you may want to react instinctively to a bad review by aggressively refuting the reviewer or deleting it altogether, don’t. Here’s some tips for dealing with bad customer reviews to turn the situation from a negative to a positive.

Don’t delete bad reviews

Deleting bad reviews is like trying to save a sinking ship by tossing out incoming water with a bucket. It might work in the short term, but it’ll just get worse in the end. The dissatisfied customer might see that you’ve removed their review and respond by calling out your behavior, which will make you look shady.

Don’t ignore them, either

Besides deleting bad reviews, you might think to just ignore them, especially if they seem particularly unhelpful or vague. But, this could also communicate to potential clients that you don’t care about customer service or their experience after you’ve taken their money.

Remember, a bad review does not mean your company is bad

Take a step back, remind yourself that a bad review isn’t the end of the world, and accept that someone is unhappy with your business. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. No business satisfies every customer – that’s impossible. You are now in a place to respond to the negative review.

Use a personalized response

A pre-written, impersonal, unspecific response that you clearly use for all negative reviews will only make things worse. Take the time to listen to what the customer has to say and write a response that reflects that you actually read their review. Express an apology for their bad experience, use their name to address them, and offer ways they can personally get in touch with you to resolve things. This will communicate to everyone who sees the interaction that your company cares about its clients on a personal level.

Settle the issue privately

In your response, offer channels where you can discuss the matter with the unhappy customer off the public message boards. This will allow more personal dialogue to happen and will show other clients that you take criticism seriously. The last thing you want is a bitter back-and-forth on Trip Advisor or Yelp! where things could get ugly.

Encourage happy customers to leave good reviews to balance out the bad ones

To make that negative rating or review sting a little bit less, reach out to happy customers to let them know that you appreciate their feedback. After a few more good ratings, that negative one doesn’t seem as serious. In fact, a few bad reviews sprinkled amongst the good can actually build your credibility because that’s what reasonable consumers would expect to see. Too many 5 star reviews with no 1 stars might seem a little fishy to potential clients.

Do you need help managing your company’s brand online? WSOA offers professional reputation management services to make sure your business isn’t being hurt by negative reviews. Our team can monitor and provide custom responses to negative reviews on over 100 review sites. Call us today to learn more about our services at 407-636-4233.