Bad Online Review: What To Do Next

Your business just got a bad online review.
What do you do now?

It just doesn’t matter how amazing you are or how perfect your business is. If you work with the public, you’re going to get a bad online review from time to time.

What do you do about it?

Ask for it to be taken down? Throw a hissy fit? Write a response berating the reviewer? No, no and no.

I know it’s difficult to think of a negative review in a positive light. But try.

Your business just got a bad online reviewIf you’re in luck and play your cards right, you can not only win back that frustrated ex-customer, you might turn the negative review around completely. If you just let it sit, unanswered, it will certainly drive away potential customers.

Most important: Don’t ignore the negative review.
It will not go away. The web is a sticky place. Nothing is really ever gone from those interwebs! Even in years to come, people who are trying to decide whether or not to give you their business may find that bad online review. That one negative review may be the reason that potential customer uses another vendor.

You must respond within two days with humility and grace. So suck it up, buttercup.

Here is what to do:

Sometimes the reviewer is right. Talk with your staff and see the reality from their viewpoint. Like belly buttons, we all have opinions. But if the same staffer keeps getting negative reviews, maybe there is a problem. Fix it!

It’s human nature to complain when something goes wrong, and take it for granted when all is perfect. We should all keep that in mind, and remember to spread the positive anytime we can.

Take 24 hours to think about it. Many business owners answer immediately and angrily, criticizing their negative reviewer. Take time to clear your head before you do something you’ll regret.

Write Out Your Response.
Calmly, politely, and professionally, address their concerns. Be concise and clear. Offer to make it up to them. Invite them back for a second chance, in hopes that they’ll revise or possibly remove their negative review.

Wait… don’t hit post yet!
Have a friend or associate to read your response for clarity and tone. You don’t want to sound pissy or angry. Only then should you respond.

Need an example?
Here is an example of a good response to a negative review. A personal, heart-felt response is the best.

“We’re so sorry you had a bad experience with us! Please send us your email or give us a call. We’d love to talk with you about your experience and see if there is anything we can do to remedy your concerns. Whatever happens, we’re grateful for your honesty and your business.”

Sometimes your response won’t get answered; sometimes it will. But regardless, it shows to others that you care, and that you’re there for your customers. You can’t ask for more than that!

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