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How to Handle Negative Reviews

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Whether we like it or not, online reviews are here to stay, and customers have more power than ever to affect our businesses. Regardless of how wonderful your business is, chances are great you will come across negative reviews at one point or another. This is hard, because negative reviews can feel like a punch in the stomach. It hurts when someone says bad things about your practice. For many of you, negative feedback can feel like a personal attack, or even worse, it might be a personal attack. But here is the good news; you can turn things around, and maybe even change the customer’s perspective for the better.

Thank and Respond

First off, always thank Yelpers for taking the time to share their experiences. They do, after all, often provide valuable feedback and suggestions. Think of the feedback as a suggestion box, not a negative review. Far from all negative feedback is warranted, but always assume it can help you improve your business.

Before responding to a negative review, make sure you take a deep breath and think very carefully about what you are going to write. It is important to remain unemotional and businesslike to avoid escalating the situation. Responding in all-caps and arguing with reviewers is ill-advised.

It is important that you take the time to respond to negative feedback. While responding poorly and in an unprofessional manner is the worst thing you can do, ignoring the complaint is not much better. Other Yelpers might see this and assume that the negative feedback is warranted, even if it may not be.

Your reviewers are your customers

A “gold standard” example for responding, according to Yelp, is when you assure your reviewer that his or her feedback in some way has helped improve your business, or contributed to actual changes.

Remember that your reviewers are human beings, with feelings and sensitivities. They are your past, current, and hopefully future paying customers. The reviewers are vocal and opinionated, or they would not be writing reviews.

Listen to them. Thank them. Empathize. Then focus on how things can be different next time.

If you need help with your online reputation, please contact Goldman Marketing Group today!

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