A Negative Review Isn’t the End of the World

Happy faces and frowny faces

No matter how exemplary your business is, bad reviews can happen. It may be that circumstances beyond your control forced a longer wait than usual for customers. It could be that one bad employee, whom you’ve since fired, left a bad impression. It could be that there’s just one confused person who is indignant that your Chinese restaurant doesn’t also serve sushi. Oftentimes, a single bad review is outside of our control.

It might feel like that bad review will throw things completely off-kilter. In fact, some business owners drive themselves crazy trying to remove the bad review, or convincing the customer to redact it. However, we’re here to tell you not to stress too much about that negative review. Believe it or not, there’s a way to turn a single negative review into a win for your online marketing efforts.

A Mix of Good and Bad Proves Authenticity

In a professional survey, customers stated that they trust review platforms where they can read a mix of both negative and positive reviews. Most people understand that you just can’t please everyone. In fact, many customers go straight to the bad reviews to see if others’ problems are deal breakers for their own needs. For example, if you’re buying a skirt and the angriest online review reports that the color is more teal than blue, that might not be a problem for you at all.

It’s important to remember that as a business you just can’t please everyone. Sometimes it’s just a bad fit! And there will always be people out there (especially online) who just like to be angry. What’s most important for you is to have enough positive reviews that the negative one looks like a fluke, not a pattern.

Allows You to Improve

No business is perfect. There are always ways that we can adapt and change to better meet our customer’s needs. The most successful businesses are those with a growth mindset. They don’t fear negative feedback because they know that it gives them an opportunity to learn and grow. So, if you do see a pattern with the negative feedback you receive, it’s time to ask yourself whether there’s some way you can improve to answer that concern.

Showcase How You Respond to Problems

The vast majority of people say that they’ll pay extra in order to get reliable customer service that will respond to their questions and concerns. Most review platforms will give you an opportunity to post a response to a review. When responding, there are a few rules you should follow:

  1. Always be polite and accommodating; don’t get defensive.
  2. Lead with “We’re sorry.” This statement doesn’t even have to be an admission of guilt if you feel the review is unfair. You can simply say “We’re sorry you had a bad experience.”
  3. Follow up with a proposal for a solution, i.e. “If you’d like to talk further about it, we’re available” or “Please contact our customer returns department.”
  4. Give an explanation. Sometimes there’s a good reason that someone had a problem, and it really wasn’t your fault. In that case, you can share what the problem was and how you’ve solved it. Always make sure, though, that you’re being considerate instead of defensive.

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