How do deal with bad reviews[ 4 min read ]

We’ve written before about the benefits of getting reviews from clients. We love a good review. However, it’s a sad fact of life that at some point in time, some businesses will get a bad review. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you are, someone somewhere may well not feel the same about your business as you do!

How do you deal with that? These are our tips on how to deal with a bad review.

Don’t overreact

As tempting as it may well be, and as redheads, we know all about the fire, but do not go out with all guns blazing! If someone has given you a bad review, then have a look at what has been written, and make a decision as to if you really need to reply that very instant. 

Sometimes taking some time out to sit back and think will actually serve you better. A hasty reply which is reactionary and not well worded could actually cause more damage. However, make sure that you do respond in a timely fashion. People expect prompt action!

Is this a one-off? 

If you’ve had more than one bad review, is there a common thread in all this? A lot of people these days will say that they are disappointed with something. That could be the service, a product or anything where a customer expectation was not met.

Is there a pattern? Is it a particular product? What could you do to resolve this? If it is customer service, is it a particular member of staff?

Taking the time to check if there is a theme will enable you to put steps in place to hopefully make sure the problem does not happen again.

Now it’s time to deal with it 

Once you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to respond to the reviewer. The most important things to do are to a) be in possession of all the facts, and b) make sure you’re calm. There is nothing worse than responding to bad reviews when you are still smarting. This is when things generally go wrong.

Acknowledge the problem

Make sure that you make time to acknowledge that there was a problem. Most of the time people just want to be heard when they make a complaint. By reassuring them that you’ve heard their issue will go a long way to building bridges with that client. In many cases, this can turn the client around.

Consider taking it offline

Sometimes, it is better to take the whole thing offline. No matter how well you respond, there may be some times when the complaint needs to be dealt with out of the public gaze, so to speak. Make sure your online response is polite and considered, but if there if further attempts from the customer to discuss, then take this offline. No one needs to see this, especially not potential new clients or customers. 

Make it personal, in a good way!

There is nothing worse than making a complaint, only to receive a scripted response. It looks like you’ve not taken the customer complaint seriously enough to give the reply some thought. Whilst responding to negative reviews is hard and you may feel comfortable having some stock sentences up your sleeve, the personal touch shows you care.

Remember you are not alone

The last thing to remember is that you are not alone in receiving a bad review. Many many businesses get them daily. What is important to remember, is that how you deal with the review which makes all the difference!

We hope this helps to make you feel a little more comfortable with dealing with a negative review. They are not nice to receive, but by being calm and considered with your reply, you can often turn things around.

Keep an eye out for a future blog to see what we’d recommend you do for fake reviews…

If you’re looking to put reviews on your site, and need some help, then why not get in touch?

Suzi Smart Bear

I'm Suzi - the owner of The Smart Bear.

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