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Don’t Panic! Your Guide to Bad Reviews

Is there anything worse than bad reviews? When an unhappy customer makes a point to tell you how they feel it can be pretty hard not to feel flustered and discouraged. (Not to mention tempted to fire back an equally detrimental retort.) But you have a reputation, and though it could potentially be marred by the remarks of a dissatisfied customer, your reply to their complaints will show your business’s true colors.

4 Tips For Working with Bad Reviews

Start off your conversation with these four tips in mind:

  1. Always respond.

    Always respond to negative reviews no matter what. A timely response is necessary to smooth ruffled feathers, avoid a further outbreak, and retain your honest and approachable business persona. A quick reply will reinforce your business has nothing to hide and is ready to solve the issue. If necessary, suggest that the conversation is continued privately and offer a means of contacting you or a customer service specialist.

  2. Don’t make excuses.

    Don’t make excuses, especially if the customer is right in his or her accusations. Own up to your mistakes. If the customer is in the wrong, it is unprofessional and discourteous to acknowledge this fact. If the comment is directed to a faulty service, apologize for their negative experience and direct their attention instead to finding a solution to the issue. Be real in your response. It’s important that your reply does not sound like an emotionless, pre-made template. Act in sincerity and your bad reviewer will be more likely to forgive and forget.

  3. Be patient and courteous.

    Be patient and courteous with the customer. Oftentimes, a customer does provide a legitimate reason for his or her complaint. Address the problem with patience, taking the blame if necessary, and spin the situation in a positive light. A defensive remark will only spur a disgruntled customer to continue their flow of negative comments. Resist the temptation to be openly rude or passive aggressive. Remember, other people will be able to see a bad review. More importantly, they will also be able to see how you handled the situation.

  4. Take time to thoughtfully consider.

    Take time to thoughtfully consider a customer’s accusations and decide if they are legitimate enough to foster change in your business. Bad reviews are sometimes vague or not entirely relevant. Instead of being hurt by a negative review, look to it as free research. Take notes, and if you begin to see a pattern, it may be time to reconsider how you run a certain part of your business. A scathing remark can be a fierce blow, but don’t be discouraged! From an optimistic viewpoint, it is a helpful way in which you can be consciously transforming your business into something great.

An etiquette policy is a good place to start if you are planning on handling all of your business’s customer service. It’s a bad idea to simply respond in template form, but having guidelines as a foundation for proper communication will help when bad reviews come along. Plus, being able to refer to a pre-planned professional response will help keep you cool as you prepare to respond to negative reviews. Remember, don’t let a bad review keep you from acknowledging all the good ones! It can be easy to become discouraged, but you will feel better (and your business will look better!) if you respond to negative comments courteously and positively.

How do you respond to negative reviews? We’re interested in hearing your tips!

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