How to Deal with the Inevitability of Negative Reviews

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How Your Business Can Recover from Negative Reviews

You have some negative reviews.  They look terrible and you need to forget them, recover, and move on. It’s a widespread problem and something you should make every effort to fix. But how exactly can your business go about the issue?

In this article, we take a quick look at the impact of negative reviews and how your business can recover from receiving what is mostly unwanted feedback.

Delays with postage, faulty software, and disgruntled employees are just a few of the endless ways in which a negative review can crop up online. Quite often, customers have every right to be annoyed but are a little ignorant when it comes to the impact their negative review can have. The issue may not exactly warrant this public display of dissatisfaction but nevertheless, negative reviews are inevitable, and they can cause untold damage to the reputation of a business.

There is no way to control what customers might say in a review. People are emotional and when things go wrong, they often complain. That’s not to say the business is powerless against them. In fact, handle your negative reviews with great care.

Here are some of the most crucial factors that can help your business recover from negative reviews:

How to Recover from Negative Reviews in Five Steps

  1. Think About the Problem Before the Response

Listening is the first unwritten rule for complaint handling as it shows the customer that somebody is paying attention to them. Listening to customers enables a business to grasp the source or reason for negative feedback. Take ample time to identify the underlying issue and then try to understand the customers point of view before responding.

  1. Control Your Emotions and Maintain Your Reputation

Writing a review is quite an emotional process and reading this feedback can incite some very similar feelings. However, try to remain conscious of these emotions and focus on the task at hand instead of how you might feel about the content of a review. After setting these feelings to one side, put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think once again about the causation of the review.

Deciding the most appropriate response is easier when you leave emotions out of the process.  This is something which will enhance your reputation rather than cause any further damage.

  1. Take Responsibility and Demonstrate Awareness

For many business owners, unfair criticism and negative reviews are personal attacks.  When someone feels criticized and attacked, they get defensive. If the person responding has no vested interest in the criticism or review, a generic response can exacerbate the situation further, costing you potential business. Some businesses ignore the issue altogether and hope that the complementary reviews outweigh the bad.

None of the above scenarios are ideal.

Most customers are smart enough to identify the source of harsh feedback and ignoring this fact is little more than undermining the intelligence of future customers. Instead, it’s important to take responsibility with negative reviews and acknowledge any wrong doing. What’s more, when you take responsibility for issues, customers will know that you listened, and this acknowledgment is likely to appease rather than frustrate the person who left this negative review.

  1. Apologize and Provide the Solution

Having taken adequate time to identify and acknowledge the problem, apologize for any inconvenience. Take time to craft a meaningful apology and then move to offering a suitable solution. Now, it may not always be possible to provide a clear solution, but consider  reimbursement or consolation of some kind, at the very least.

  1. Following Up on Negative Reviews

As you can see, fixing the problem should always be the objective with negative reviews as opposed to dismantling feedback or pointing out any flaws in the argument. However, there will come a point when this issue is over or resolved and this is a wonderful time to re-connect with the customer.

Disgruntled customers can offer fantastic advice to businesses and asking for such advice will usually command a certain degree of respect. For example, if a customer complains about the quality of a product, they may have a solution than can improve that product and avoid negative reviews in the future.

Recovering from Negative Feedback in the Long Term

There is little you can do to control the emotions or views which customers leave in the form of negative reviews. However, learning from previous feedback can provide objective improvements for the future.

Remember, the customer is always right and learning to operate in their best interests is certain to maintain your reputation. Your business thrives when you take a proactive approach and avoid rectifiable confrontations.  Your customers, current and future, will see that you care.

The Importance and Inevitability of Negative Reviews

Negative feedback is inevitable and something that you will encounter again. Whether the business is at fault or not, you simply cannot please everybody all the time and how you respond to this criticism is what really matters. Negative reviews can identify weaknesses and improve the business so that they don’t happen again. Whatever happens, remember that negative reviews are common, and when handled well, your business can survive even the worst criticism.

Need help? Get in touch with our team today and we can help you take control of your reviews!

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Alisa Makowski

Alisa Makowski

Alisa lives and breathes marketing, it runs in her blood, that and coffee. Alisa is the top peeler here in our village of monkeys. Falling in love with marketing at a young age, Alisa has worked with various corporations while obtaining her B.Sc in Marketing. Over the course of only a few years, she was able to dominate her craft in the areas of: Web, Social, and Traditional Marketing. In that time period, she was able to work with companies such as The Furnace Company, Costco and with loyalty programs such as Aeroplan and Air Miles.

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