What to Do if You Get BAD Review

Bad reviews, negative comments, angry feedback, if you’re in business you’ve either already been at the receiving end or will be at some point. It’s inevitable. Sadly you can’t please all the people all the time. People have bad days, you have bad days. Now the question is, what to do about those bad reviews?

Have a plan before it happens. Make sure you have documented or discussed a plan of action on what to do when you find or receive a negative review. In what cases will you respond? Who will respond? Create scenarios. By having a plan you can respond more quickly and effortlessly. A plan will also help you to keep your emotions in check. No one likes reading negative comments about themselves, their products or their company, by knowing what you will do when you receive such comments it will be a more mechanical reaction rather than an emotional one.

Monitor the landscape. Depending on your business, industry, products and even the time of year (i.e. Christmas) where, when and how you monitor reviews may be different. For example, you may need an all hands on deck approach during peak shopping seasons when buyers are abundant and reviews are running rampant. If you don’t respond appropriately and in a timely manner a negative review could impact sales during a critical time.

Notice I used the word “consider.” Not all reviews are worth your time and effort to respond to. In fact, by responding to some inflammatory reviews you could actually hurt your reputation. Read each review carefully. Try to determine the source. Do you know this customer or the situation? Are you able to respond. Should you/can you respond publicly or privately? If you respond here are some tips:
-Be positive and polite
-Avoid accusations
-Avoid making offers such as a discount in a public forum. You can recommend they contact you via phone or email and when they do it’s fine to offer them a discount or something to make up for an error on your part.

Happy customers often forget to give feedback. Remind your satisfied customers leave reviews by providing links to review sites that are frequented by people who use your products or services (i.e. Yelp, Amazon or Epinions). You can communicate to your best customers through traditional means such as invoices, direct mail, in-store or via phone. Or through digital means such as emails, social media or when they login to your website.

Having reviews on your own website is a great way to encourage reviews and have more control. When a review is placed on your site, you can require an email address from reviews and sign off on ownership of the review. When a good review comes in you can use it for marketing. If you need to contact a customer who had a bad experience you have their contact information without going through a third-party. Reviews on your own site also add credibility to your company.

As a final word on bad reviews, read them, don’t fear them. By keeping on top of reviews and viewing even negative reviews in a positive light, you will strengthen your business and your people.


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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.