How Not to Respond to Negative Reviews

Getting a negative review is no picnic for any business owner. Even just a few bad reviews can have a lasting impact on a business, following you for a long time. Your first instinct upon reading a bad review may be to get mad, to retaliate, to fire back in anger. However, research shows that aggressive and defensive management responses to bad reviews can backfire, as they are seen by other customers as well.

This can reflect poorly on your business as other customers may take their business elsewhere if they think you are responding harshly. Who wants to do business with someone who doesn’t own up to his mistakes and appease his customers? Here are some ground rules:

Don’t Get Defensive

It’s important that you approach the situation with empathy rather than with critical feedback on a personal level. Always keep in mind that customers took the time to write a bad review because their expectations were not met, which is a disappointment on all levels. But it doesn’t have to remain that way. You can do something about it.

Apologize Sincerely

Just because you’re apologizing, this doesn’t mean you’re admitting wrongdoing. You can still say something like “I’m sorry your experience with us failed to meet your expectations,” and not admit guilt. It’s vital that you recognize that your customer paid for a product or service that didn’t live up to expectations. That’s on you. Regardless of how it happened, you have to own the fact that someone you were supposed to serve has walked away from your business disappointed.

Be Brief

There’s no need to address every single point in the review. By going into detail, you’re actually opening yourself up for further scrutiny, and in some cases you can appear defensive with convoluted explanations. Be brief, get to the point, and make sure an apology is part of it.

Follow Up

You should always say how you will fix the issue for future circumstances. You can say something to this effect: “Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We’ll address the matter with our staff to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Invite the Customer to Return

Never promise financial compensation online. You don’t want to set a precedent that may encourage others to come out of the woodwork and complain. Instead, invite the customer to return to your place of business to give you a chance to improve their experience. Approaching the situation with empathy can turn around those negative reviews to result in happier customers.

Contact Boost Reviews

If you want to start collecting five-star reviews for your business, start with Boost Reviews. Contact us now.

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