Reviews can be tricky, especially if you’re a business owner. You want your customers to love you, but when they don’t: what do you do? Do you ignore the bad review and hope it goes away? Do you respond with anger or derision? Do you answer politely and then move on with your life? All of these choices have their merits, but none of them are ideal and ignoring negative reviews rarely helps. If we take a look at some of the most common ways people react to bad reviews online, we’ll see that there’s always another way that helps both parties get what they want.

Ignoring negative reviews rarely helps.

When a customer is having trouble with your product or service, responding to them with an apology and a plan of action is not only the right thing to do, it has the potential to turn around an otherwise bad review. You want people who are unhappy with what you’re offering to feel heard, understood, and cared for. Showing that you care about the customer will make them more likely to leave a positive review than if they had been ignored or berated.

Don’t respond to reviews when you’re angry.

If you find yourself responding to a negative review when you’re feeling angry or defensive, it’s best to hold off. The customer is likely just as frustrated as you are, so their review might not be representative of the entire situation. Responding with heated language can only inflame an already tense situation and make matters worse.

You should also avoid using profanity or making personal attacks. Instead try to keep your response professional and polite while still addressing all of their concerns head-on. This will help show perspective readers that you care about providing excellent service and value.

Respond quickly to negative reviews.

When a customer leaves a negative review, it is important to respond quickly. This will help you avoid the situation going viral. Responding quick is also key in getting back control of your brand’s reputation. If you have time, address the issue directly and apologize for whatever may have gone wrong. Your customers are more likely to trust you if they see that you are taking responsibility for mistakes without trying to pass them off as minor issues or blaming someone else.

Always respond to all reviews, positive and negative.

Respond to all of your reviews, positive and negative. If you don’t respond well to a negative review, it can make the customer feel like they were right to complain. You will also lose an opportunity to learn from the experience. You can’t learn how to improve if you’re ignoring problems.

Responding publicly helps build trust with new potential customers who see that you’ve responded in a respectful manner. It shows them that you care about improving as well as taking care of current customers.

Thank people for their honest review.

Thank the reviewer for taking the time to write the review.
Acknowledge that you appreciate the feedback and are sorry for what happened. This can help turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Thank them again for their honesty, business and time taken out of their day to do this!

Acknowledge the reviewer’s point of view, regardless of whether or not you agree.

If you are the owner of a business, good or bad review of your service can affect its reputation. The first thing that should come to mind is to address the issues raised in the review and try to solve them immediately. Acknowledging the customer’s point of view is critical in building trust. It helps establish relationships between you and your customers.

Ask if there is anything else you can do to help the customer.

Once you’ve calmed down, it’s time to find out what might have gone wrong. Ask the customer if there is anything else that you can do for them, and if so, what?

Ask if they would like to talk to someone directly: “Do you want me to contact you?”

Ask if they would like someone else from your business to contact them: “Would you prefer that I give your feedback to a colleague?”

Offer a discount on future work: “I’m really sorry this happened. Would it be possible for us to offer a discount on our next job?”

Ask if they’d like an in-person meeting with someone at your business: “Would we be able to meet up sometime later today or tomorrow morning so I can hear more about what happened?”

Reviews can be tricky, but replying to them thoughtfully goes a long way.

As a business owner, you know that reviews are an important part of your business. A review can be positive or negative, but responding to it thoughtfully goes a long way in building customer loyalty and attracting new customers.

When someone leaves a review for your business online (on Facebook, Google, Yelp or any other site), it’s easy to get defensive or take things personally. After all, it’s not the best feeling when someone says something negative about your company.

Remember that reviewer is just one person with one opinion about their experience with you. Chances are there were many more people who had great experiences with you.

The Goal is Not to Be Right, but to Make a Bad Situation Good … and possibly earn a new long time customer.

It’s tempting to ignore them, but we recommend that you don’t. There is no one way to handle negative reviews; each situation is different and requires its own approach. However, there are some general rules that apply in most cases.