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How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated

  • 85% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation

  • Never respond more than twice to the same customer about the same issue on a public channel

Nobody likes to get a bad online review. As a business owner or employee, when you see a negative review about your business, your first reaction might be to take the reviewer’s comment and low-star rating as a personal insult.

You may get upset. You might get mad. It’s understandable.

However, taking it personally isn’t the best way to handle negative reviews. Getting upset or angry isn’t going to solve your problem. Not only do you have a dissatisfied customer, you have one who has publicly put their bad experience about your company online for the whole world to see.

85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so it’s more critical than ever to ensure that your online reputation is a shining representation of your business, and that negative reviews are kept to a minimum.

Here are some tips on how to diffuse a bad online review and hopefully turn an unhappy customer into a someone who might even be willing to go back online and change their bad review into a good one.

Keep calm and take a breath

When you see a bad review about your company, the first thing you should do is stop, take a breath and think.

Don’t hastily respond to the ticked-off customer without thinking things through first. (If you need to step away from your computer and walk around the block, do that. Anything to settle your emotions down.) Never respond when you’re angry.

When you reply to a person who’s had a bad experience with your company, it helps to have a set of standard review responses that you can use to respond. These “canned” responses will give you a starting point when you write a response to the reviewer.

Now, don’t re-use the same responses over and over, but having a starting point – especially if you’re upset – can help a lot. Take a canned response and customize your response for each individual reviewer’s feedback.

You must respond to the negative review

If you think you can ignore a bad review, you’re wrong. Not responding to a negative review is responding. It’s telling everyone that sees the bad review that you don’t care about your customers’ feedback or experiences.