How to Respond to a Bad Online Review

July 19, 2016

Haters gunna hate… or at least that’s what they say. But when they start leaving negative reviews or comments on sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter or Yelp, how do you respond?

Stay Positive

Even if you feel that the negative feedback is unwarranted, replying in a caring, thoughtful and constructive way can turn that negative into a positive experience and show that you’re a genuine business. People look for humanity in businesses, and responding to a negative review can be a great opportunity to be more transparent, which can have a good impact on all your customers.

Most customers won’t write your business off based on one negative review, however many will gain respect for you if they see a pleasant and helpful response to a negative interaction.

As someone who pours their life into their business, it might be difficult to keep a cool head when facing negative comments. Take some time to formulate a polite reply. Acknowledge the person who’s complaining and say you appreciate the input. Explain your side and add a human touch.

Take it Out of the Public Eye

Be brief with your responses and don’t reveal too much. Social media and review sites are public spaces, so do your best to encourage the customer to contact you privately. Try a simple “We’re sorry you’ve had this experience. Please call our customer service line if you'd like to talk about the specifics of your situation.”

Flip the Script

When handled correctly, a negative comment can be a good opportunity to highlight your strengths.

For example, “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. We’ve been in business 10 years, we serve hundreds of customers a week, and we strive to create the best possible experience for our customers.” These types of responses are a way to frame your story while still allowing the person to feel heard and acknowledged.

Monitoring Your Online Presence

Even more important to how you respond to a negative comment is responding at all. Having someone to monitor your online presence on review sites and social media channels can save you business from becoming a public relations nightmare. If you're not responding to customer feedback online, you could be hurting your business's image. It's time to get involved and speak up.

At Sales & Marketing Technologies, we have skilled community managers who can help craft the perfect responses to negative reviews. Call us today or use the contact form below to find out more about what we can offer.

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