No matter how hard you work or how well you deliver a service or product, bad reviews will happen from time to time. We’re only human after all, and we do make mistakes. Sometimes, it could be also that your customer or client is a tad highly strung, i.e. unreasonable or simply having a really bad day. Miscommunication plays a big role too. And let’s not forget that a troll could have written the bad review.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best way to deal with bad reviews.

Don’t Panic

It is easy to become fixated on a bad review, even if you have plenty of good ones. The secret to dealing with a bad review is to try and get to the heart of the issue. So:

  • Did you make a mistake(s)? What was it? How can it be fixed?
  • Were they dissatisfied with the product or service?
  • Is their complaint vague? Is it really a valid complaint?

How you respond will not only be a damage limitation exercise it might actually make you more authentic and trustworthy among your existing and potential customer and client base. Let’s take a look at how that’s achieved.

Responding to Reviews

It is good business practice to respond to reviews, both good and bad in a timely fashion. Your customer or client has given you feedback, took the time to do it, and as such, you should respond. Good reviews are fairly easy to respond to. Anything from a simple ‘Thank you so much, we’re so glad you found [insert product name] useful’, to ‘We are thrilled to hear that you are satisfied with our service/s, thank you so much for your feedback, it’s been a pleasure assisting you’, is good.

Bad reviews, however, require a different approach:

  • Mistakes – Obviously apologise and offer to rectify the mistake. Throw in a freebie, offer discounts on next purchases, a few sweeteners go a long way.
  • Dissatisfaction – It could be the customer or client is dissatisfied with what your business delivered, often due to miscommunication. It happens from time to time. It is worth taking feedback here so you can add a bit more clarity as to what the product or service is. There are instances where your customer or client may not have read the description/instructions well enough, hence the dissatisfaction. Again, sweeteners and refunds go along way. Make sure your bad review response highlights the facts tactfully.
  • Vague Reviews – Vague reviews could be signs of a fake review. Other signs are overly aggressive and angry language. If it feels a bit fake, then check out a few competitors and see if the same reviewer has heaped glowing praise on them. If they have, this could well be a fake review. In this instance, apologise and offer to follow up with a phone call or email. If they refuse or don’t respond, it is probably a fake review. Google has a reporting system for this, and it is good practice to use it.


There is no Such Thing as a Bad Review

Bad reviews make the good ones stand out. Most people don’t really trust businesses that have a glowing 5* reviews. It looks a bit dubious. Having an authentic bad review makes good reviews look better, and it adds value to your business overall.

Controversy also generates interest. People start looking at your website reading the other reviews to get the low down on your business. No doubt, you can see how this can be a bonus and provides opportunities for you to leverage.

Final Thoughts on Bad Reviews

Many business have combatted bad reviews using humour. This shows the world that you acknowledge you have made a mistake and have a sense of humour about the whole affair. There are opportunities with bad reviews, and it is worth taking the time to explore them.

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