What to do when your business gets a negative review

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Between Twitter, blogs, forums, and websites like Yelp, consumers now have a stronger voice than ever before. And with the popularity of online reviews increasing daily, it’s probably only a matter of time until someone leaves your company an unfavorable review. No matter how good you are at what you do, it’s impossible to make sure every single customer is satisfied. Even if you do everything right, there are still those people who just can’t be satisfied.

So, what should you do when your business gets a negative review?

  • Don’t try to argue with the reviewer—The last thing you want to do is get into a shouting match with the upset customer. It only causes the customer to get angrier, and it makes you look unprofessional to anyone else who reads your response. So, no matter how angry you might be when you see that bad review, take a step back and calm down.
  • Take what they say seriously—Sometimes, the truth hurts. Nobody likes being criticized, but you need to view criticism as a learning opportunity. Try to get to the core of what the negative review is about, and ask yourself if there is anything you can do to improve so this doesn’t happen again in the future.
  • Try to rectify the situation if possible—If there’s a way for you to get in touch with the reviewer, try to talk to them to see what you can do to make them happy. This shows the customer that you truly care about them, and it could cause them to amend their negative review.
  • Don’t overestimate the impact of one bad review—A single bad review isn’t really that big of a deal. Even the best companies have bad reviews. Most customers understand that a bad review here or there isn’t a total indictment of a company, and they’re willing to overlook it. Just make sure bad reviews don’t become a pattern.
  • Never write fake reviews—Don’t ever review your business or have one of your friends write a review. It’s inauthentic, and it breaks the review guidelines of websites like Yelp.
  • Don’t try to bride customers into writing good reviews—There’s nothing wrong with letting your customers know they can review you online, but you can’t offer any incentives or payment for them doing so. Again, this just isn’t authentic, and it violates the review guidelines for these sites.

Has your business received any negative reviews? How did you respond?

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