How to Handle a Negative Review

If you’re in business for more than a few months, you’re probably going to get some negative feedback. That’s part of doing business; you can’t please everyone. However, with social media being accessible to anyone with a phone, it’s easy for them to share their grievances publicly. When that happens, you have to decide how to react. Despite the temptation to slam them down and publicly humiliate your critics, in most cases it’s essential that you handle negative reviews promptly and with a professional attitude. Let’s take a look at a few different considerations to help you handle negative reviews.

Who Posted the Review?

Whenever possible, try to determine who wrote the review. Was it a customer? Sometimes your competition can try to get the upper hand by posting negative reviews about you on social media. And there are also people who are paid to write reviews. Do some digging to find out who wrote the review.

Is the Review True?

Are the complaints in the review true? For example, did the customer have a terrible time downloading your home study course or accessing your customer service department? If the facts are true, then an apology is in order – a public one using the same social media site. Simply comment on their post so that your audience can also view your apology and attempt to make amends. If the information is not true, then you’ll want to correct the misinformation and perhaps offer a way for them to have a better experience next time.

Don’t make it personal. Remember that when you’re having a conversation on social media everyone can see it. You want to maintain your brand during all communications.

Be Honest

As a business owner you don’t have to respond to every negative review and complaint. However, you can do so, and it’s often an opportunity to not only make an unhappy customer a happy one but to also strengthen your brand image. When you respond to reviews, make sure that you’re honest and that you’re genuinely trying to help. Don’t attack the reviewer, ever. Don’t pick a fight or start an argument. Your goal is to solve a problem. If you sense that your online conversation is going to have a lot of back and forth, move the conversation offline. Get a phone number or an email and work with that customer to solve the problem.

It may seem like a lot of work to respond to negative reviews, however it can be a truly powerful business practice. Consider setting aside time each week to review comments online about your business and your brand. If you notice anything negative then assess the review or comments and determine an appropriate course of action.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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