Even if your customer service is amazing, you’re bound to receive a less than perfect review of your business at some point in time. It’s just the nature of how customers and companies interact online nowadays. One negative review won’t ruin your reputation if every other review is positive, but you should make sure to respond to it in a timely and appropriate manner. If you follow these suggestions for how to reply to bad reviews, you’ll be sure to keep your business in a good light.


Take Your Time to Respond

Responding to bad reviews shouldn’t be a race. Once you read one, you’ll probably feel a little unhappy and have the urge to angrily type a defensive reply. You definitely shouldn’t act on this first instinct.

Instead, take a step back from the keyboard and give yourself a minute. Composing yourself before you respond to this type of review is imperative to crafting the best answer. With every response, you want to employ a pleasant tone. Don’t let them get a rise out of you. If you spend a little extra time drafting a response that answers any of their concerns graciously, then you’ll avoid getting into a review battle.

 How to respond to bad online reviews

Acknowledge Your Position

The review game is tough, especially when you’re on the receiving end. Customers are strongly favored online, regardless if they’re lying or telling the truth. Reviewing platforms like Yelp and Google Reviews are frequented by people who want to see past what a business owner or marketer is telling them. Past customers are known for being neutral parties and having experience with your business. So that’s who we rely on.

Because of this, you should realize your position. How do you positively portray your business in the face of negativity? You can start by acknowledging your strengths in your response. Don’t write as if you’re bragging though and not appreciative of feedback. Start by thanking them, then explain your priorities.

If it feels right, you can also admit the aspects of your business you’re continuing to improve upon. No one ever faults honesty.

 How to respond to bad online reviews

Show Empathy

When anyone leaves a negative comment, they’re usually doing one of two things. The first is trolling your business. The second is trying to help you improve and inform other customers. Recognize the meaning behind the review and try to be understanding. That person invested their time into buying your product or service but just had a concern or poor experience. Don’t ignore their critiques.

Show a little humanity and provide them with a solution if there is one. That’s the one thing people seek from your responses: empathy. They want to know that a person on the other end of the screen heard them and actually cares. It’s something we’re lacking from interactions online, and it only makes sense that you don’t act like a robot if you aren’t one.

 Customer Experience Strategy Concept. Positive and Negative Online Review Floating over Businessman's Hand to Balance and Analysis

Ask for Another Chance

Not many people will swear off a business for good after one blip. If the reviewer seems like they can be persuaded, don’t be afraid to ask for another opportunity to win their business. If you don’t, you might be missing an opportunity to right a wrong and gain a great customer. Make them a guarantee, and then deliver. Some people will even edit their review or leave a follow-up if they have a better experience in the future. Don’t neglect this. It’s all about reputation management.

 How to respond to bad online reviews

Equally Appreciate Negativity and Positivity

Use this as a rule of thumb: respond to and be thankful for any and all reviews. If it’s a 5-star review, respond. If it’s a zero-star review (if that’s even possible), respond. If you’re proactive with your replies, people will feel more inspired to leave a happy review. It’s all about pleasing your customers and making them feel heard. We all just want someone to listen to our opinions.

No matter your business, large or small, Netsource Media can help you grow within your field and learn how to navigate the waters of online commerce. Talk to one of our marketing experts today and let us help you on your path to a successful business.

How to Respond to Bad Reviews. Save face, appease your customers, and turn a negative experience into a happy one.

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