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angry customer1.) Don’t Panic!

The last thing a business owner wants to run across on social media, business directories or search engines is a negative review. If you happen to find out you have one or more bad reviews online, the first thing to avoid is posting a reply while you are still upset. Give yourself a chance to calm down and consider the source and the situation. You will want to post a response if you can’t get directly in touch with the person who posted it (within reason), but you will want to ensure the response is well thought out and leads to a positive outcome, even if the person who posted the review does not reply back.

2.) Research the Source of The Review

Negative reviews can come from a range of sources including legitimately upset customers, irrational customers, competitors that are using dirty tactics, enemies, or you may never have a clue who the post came from or what the situation is that is mentioned.

Your response will depend on the situation, and depending on the platform, you may be able to have the review itself reviewed and possibly removed if the source was fake.

3.) Preparing and Posting a Response to The Bad Review

If you are dealing with a review posted by anyone other than an upset customer, keep the comment brief and to the point. Make it clear that the incident never occurred and you have reported the review. Follow it up with a mission statement or something to the effect of how you ensure that customer service is a priority.

If you are dealing with an upset customer, and you know this person, attempting to contact them first to resolve the issue might lead to more promising results. If you do this, make sure you ask them to please remove the review and explain that it has an impact on your business. If you do not have this option, your response should start with an apology for the customer’s poor experience and your regret for their experience. Offer to make the issue right. Request that the customer contact you at their earliest convenience and finish it up by letting the customer know that you would really like to keep their business if possible, but at the very least make up for any inconvenience and disappointment.

4.) Flush Out Bad Reviews With Good Reviews

Bad reviews aren’t all that bad! Bad reviews are an opportunity to learn and make changes. While you may not want the world to see these bad reviews, a negative review will not automatically have a crushing impact on how others see your business – if you handle the negative review intelligently and ensure there are positive reviews to flush out the negative review.

You may already have positive reviews up on the website on which the negative review is located. However, if the negative review is the only review you have up, you will need to have some positive reviews posted. While a more legitimate way to handle positive reviews over time will be covered in another article, you can take care of this quickly by contacting a couple of close customers to add reviews to the website you found the negative review. Contact these customers and send them a link to your profile. Ask them to post a review of their experience with your services. It’s best to request this from customers who are also close friends or acquaintances.