Got a Bad Review? Here’s How to Deal with It

People trust reviews. Good ones may influence them to give a business a chance; bad ones may convince them to avoid it altogether. About 94 percent of people say they will steer clear of companies that have negative reviews. That’s why reputation management is so important.

Reviews are sometimes a way for people to vent about their not-so-great experiences, rather than a way to compliment a business for what they’re doing right. So, while you should motivate people to give a review when they’re pleased with the service your company provided, you can’t ignore the fact that —at some point— you will likely get at least one negative review.

Types of Bad Reviews

There are different types of bad reviews, but we could put them into three main categories:

  • Bad experiences: It’s always frustrating to have bad experiences at a business, and it’s only natural that people want to vent, hoping to receive a solution. Even if the choice of words isn’t always the best, at its core, their message is telling you there is something your business could improve on.
  • Wrong company reviews: The same way people dial the wrong number all the time, they can end up submitting a bad review to the wrong company. They might have confused your company name with someone else’s or just plain got it wrong.
  • Scams: It may be hard to believe, but some people are out there, leaving bad reviews just “for fun.” These are the type of reviews you should look out for and report as they can harm your business.

There’s a lot to learn from negative reviews, but when you first get them, you might feel shocked, offended, and might not know how to react. Here are some tips to help you deal with bad reviews.

Watch Your Reviews Regularly

Monitoring your reviews is critical. It helps you identify when you’re getting legitimate reviews from real customers and when there’s something else going on.

Take Your Time to Read

Don’t start typing a reply after only reading the first few words. Even when you get reviews that are hard pills to swallow, make sure you read carefully and try to remain objective. Remember, everyone will see your reply, not just the person who left you that negative review. You want to make sure you come up with a well-thought-out response that makes you look professional.

Always Reply

When you get positive reviews, it’s a good practice to say thank you or inform that person that you are glad to know they had a good experience. For bad reviews, you will first have to identify which type of review you’re seeing. If it’s legitimate, it’s best to reply promptly and provide a solution for their problem, or at least offer an apology if it’s in fact due to something you could have done better.

Create Generic Replies

Put together a list of generic replies you can use on unsatisfied customers. The idea is not that you copy/paste an answer every time, but these generic responses can help you guide the conversation, and you can edit them as needed.