How to Respond to Negative Reviews

The Internet, in its infinite knowledge and convenience, has made reviewing a company all the more simple, especially on the go.  Being a savvy social media agency, we would like to fill you in on some important best practices when it comes to reviews on the web. I know people who will hop online and write a review while sitting in a restaurant or standing in line!
responding to negative social media reviews
The fact is, folks are far more inclined to write a negative review about their one bad experience, than to write a positive one for their many good experiences.  But this fact doesn’t mean that a negative review has to hurt your business.
Bad reviews are a part of doing business.  As much as we try, it’s impossible to please 100% of people 100% of the time.  When you get a poor review, it’s probably hard to not take it personally.  This person doesn’t know you, doesn’t know how hard you work to run your business…How dare they?
When you feel the desire to lash out and tell the reviewer a piece of your mind, take a deep breath instead.  What might be true about their sentiments?  Did something happen that you might have been completely oblivious to had someone not left a review for you?  Reviews are like free market research, and you can use this opportunity to learn about how to be better!
Sounds kind of like I’m blowing smoke, right?  The fact is, customers want to see you respond with caring professionalism.  No one is perfect.  By admitting your faults, apologizing, and trying your best to remedy the situation, you position yourself as someone people want to do business with, who is a real human being.
In addition to taking ownership of the situation, which earns you respect with current and potential clients, you now have the opportunity to point out the things you do well!  Did someone complain that their burger was cold?  Apologize, but then point out the great food specials you have going on each week.  Did your customer service team drop the ball for a client and they blasted their experience all over Google?  Offer to rectify the situation and then point out your ability to create custom plans for your clients.  Turning the negative into a positive without sounding sales-y or defensive is key.
Ignoring negative reviews doesn’t allow you to take control of the situation and turn it into something positive.   If responding to reviews makes you want to run and hide, let’s talk!  I have your best interests in mind, and I’ll treat your customers with the same respect you would give them.

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