How to Handle Bad Online Reviews in a Positive Way

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

At some point, a customer may be disappointed with your services, even though you strive for perfection. If that disgruntled person posts about his dissatisfaction on an online review or social media site, such as Yelp or Facebook, it could put a dent in your profits. According to the 2016 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

You can’t please everyone all of the time. However, you can take steps to minimize any damage and turn the situation around for a positive outcome. Customer service is an essential part of any business; show your customers that you care by taking a serious look at their reviews.

Acknowledge the Review

Online reviews lay the groundwork for your company’s reputation, good or bad. The BrightLocal study shows that it takes less than 10 reviews for the average consumer to form an opinion about a business. Ignoring a review left by an unhappy customer can cause people to take their business elsewhere.

Acknowledge the review as soon as possible. Promptly replying to an unsatisfied customer shows that you take accountability for any misdoings. Acting quickly may also give you an opportunity to solve the problem; someone who was initially disgruntled may even turn into a loyal customer thanks to your quick attention and effort.

Stay Positive

When it comes to customer service, a genuine response can go a long way, especially if you maintain a polite and positive attitude. The last thing you want to do is fly off the handle or blame the customer for the problem, even if he is at fault. Customers will notice the manner in which you handled the situation. They want to feel confident that if they end up having a problem, you will take care of it.

If the commenter continues to be incensed, offer to talk with him offline. Speaking on the telephone, person to person, can remove misunderstandings in tone of voice and provide a human touch to your efforts. Hearing sincerity in your voice can help the customer connect with you, calm down and realize that the problem was a mistake.

Show Your Best Side

A public conversation with a consumer, such as in an online review space, is an opportune time to show the strengths of your company and discuss your best products. For example, you may write something like, “I’m sorry you didn’t find workbook A to be helpful. Based on what you’ve said so far, I feel that workbook B would actually be the better choice for you. Workbook B is less expensive and more compact than workbook A, and workbook B is one of our best sellers. If you would like to try workbook B, I will be happy to offer you free overnight shipping.” Now every consumer reading this is probably very curious about workbook B.

References & Resources

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