The Bad Review Blues: How to Respond to Negative Reviews

The Bad Review Blues: How to Respond to Negative ReviewsGeralt / Pixabay

Bad reviews got you down? You may think all of your reviews need to be perfect, but bad reviews can actually help your business. If you only have perfect reviews, customers are likely to assume they are fake or you are screening them. As long as the good outweighs the bad, negative reviews prove all of your reviews are real and that you have nothing to hide.

While you may think defending your business when you get a bad review will make you look better, but typically it’s the exact opposite. Some customers may be dissuaded by a few bad reviews, but they will definitely call your competitor if they see you constantly arguing with your customers. You will look much better if your responses show that you value your customer’s business and take their opinions seriously.

How to Respond to Bad Reviews

Try to respond to bad reviews quickly and remember to be empathetic and sincere. Even if you don’t think you did something wrong, apologize and reassure them that you are investigating the situation. Be proactive and give them a specific time when you will follow up. If you don’t have their contact number or can’t determine who they are, leave your direct number and ask them to follow up with you.

Before calling, refamiliarize yourself with the services you provided. If you didn’t perform the service personally, talk with the employee who did. Instead of trying to defend your company when you call, ask the customer to explain their side of the situation. While this may be just one of many jobs to you, this is someone’s home. Listen to them carefully and ask questions.

Each case will be different, but you’ll have the best success if you try to find a compromise that works for you both. Respond as sincerely as possible and don’t be afraid to acknowledge mistakes. Once the situation is completely resolved, consider asking them to update their review with their experiences. Some customers might not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. The best case is you turn a negative review into a positive one.

While you should always try to find a compromise, you will occasionally encounter a customer that won’t be satisfied with any resolution. The best thing to do is just keep your cool, stick to the terms of the contract, and agree to disagree. It’s also a good idea to document your communication with the customer as you can in case they decide to take legal action.

Dealing With Rage-Fueled Reviews

You are bound to get an extremely negative, potentially rage-fueled review once in a while. Even if you haven’t gotten one yourself, you’ve probably seen at least one before. These reviews are typically full of expletives, include countless words in all capitals, and have an excessive number of exclamation points and question marks. They express their anger and frustration at the company but rarely include details about what happened.

These reviews can be quite upsetting, but they are nowhere near as bad as you think. The truth is, the reviewer has already done most of your work for you. Without details about what happened, it’s little more than an angry person complaining and most customers won’t consider it very credible. The best way to handle these reviews is to forget about them.

The Best Way to Combat Bad Reviews

No matter how hard you try, you are going to get a few negative reviews. Instead of worrying about how these may impact your business, focus on getting more honest reviews from satisfied customers. These reviews will not only help grow your business but also offset the impact of those negative reviews.

Related: Getting more positive reviews on Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, or HomeAdvisor

Getting more reviews is usually as easy as asking for them. While you may be apprehensive about asking, 68% of customers will leave a review if asked. If you find that employees forget to ask or customers forget to leave review, you may consider using a review acquisition program that makes the process easier to manage.

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