The Best Way to Respond to a Negative Online Review

The Best Way to Respond to a Negative Online Review

No matter how you choose to run your business, it is inevitable that at some point or another, you will face the tough situation of getting a negative online review.  While it may be tempting to fire back in self-defense, or to wallow in self-pity, those reactions will only compound the criticism you are trying to escape.  Instead, it is best that you learn how to handle negative reviews, so that you can make the best of them, for the good of your business.  Here is a guide to the best way to respond to a negative online review:

Take the reviewer’s perspective.  Sure, it may be hard to take, but the truth is this: most reviews have some basis in fact, even if they are exaggerated.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to read between the lines when examining negative reviews.  It could be a great opportunity for you to improve your business.  Plus, taking some time to consider the other perspective is also a great way to step back and breathe some before formulating a response.

Reply.  Don’t ever ignore a bad review.  Take the time to provide a thoughtful response.  Your business will look much better for it, even in the face of harsh criticism.

Leave emotion out of it. Skip on the defensive, self-justifying, or offensive remarks and maintain a calm, friendly, and business-like tone when you reply to a negative review.  Remember that other potential customers will read your response, and behave yourself in a manner you can be proud of down the line – a manner that speaks for your business in a positive way.

Sympathize.  You don’t have to apologize if you are truly not at all at fault.  However, you still need to acknowledge that you feel bad that the customer had an upsetting experience with your business.  You may say something like, “This business prides itself on customer service, and it upsets me to know that you are not happy with your experience working with us.”

Provide a solution.  It is a great idea to offer the reviewer a coupon and ask for a chance to redeem yourself (or your business reputation, that is).  For example, if the reviewer complained that your representative was late, offer a coupon for the next service, and promise the representative will be on time.

False reviews.  If a review is illegal, irrelevant to your business, or an outright falsification, then you can report it to the site administrator (or flag it) to have it reviewed.

6 Tips On How To Respond To Reviews

Successful Business Ideas – 6 Tips On How To Respond To Google Reviews

By Scott Dennison

One of the most pressing questions I get from prospective clients is about how to respond to a negative review on Google Places. Today I want to share with you 6 successful business ideas on how to respond appropriately to a review that you don’t like.

Opinions vary on the power or effect of bad reviews with some suggesting that 1 in 3 decide to do business with you based on reviews, while others say the percentage is much higher. In either case, the business owner or general manager must pay attention to the online reviews they’re getting or sit and wonder why we’re not getting more customers.

Successful Business Ideas – Dealing With Negative Reviews

So let’s go through the successful business ideas I have for you on dealing with reviews.

1) First, I’d say to be nice. There is no downside to treating an unhappy customer with unusual kindness. The most important words you can say (or write in this case) is “I understand that something we’ve done has upset you”. This phrase will communicate clearly that you care about your customers feelings.

2) Don’t take the comments personally or respond to them personally. They’re commenting about their experience with your business, so seek to address the experience they had and move on. Also remember that when you reply, you’re post is public and everyone can see it.

My third of 6 successful business ideas as it relates to Google Places reviews is:

3) Remember that feedback is helpful. If you did not get notified about a bad experience it’d be hard to identify areas to improve your business’s interaction with customers. If you’ve made changes or improvements based on negative feedback, let the reviewer (and everyone else who reads it know).

4) Keep your reply short and to the point. The reviewer wants to know they’ve been heard. Future clients want to know you’re listening and engaging with paying customers. You don’t need a lot of words for that message to come through.

5) Thank people for taking time to review. If they’re posting about a good experience, thank them for sharing. If the review is negative, thank them for bringing it to your attention so you can address and resolve the problem.

And the last of my 6 successful business ideas is…

6) Be a friend. Remember that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Google Places reviews is powerful in the way it allows you to befriend your customers. Do this well and they’ll be a friend and customer for years to come.

Scott A Dennison is the founder and CEO of Florida Inbound Marketing, a Tampa Bay, FL based small business marketing firm. He publishes a well respected monthly newsletter, Florida Marketing News [] which is available to small business owners at no cost.