Bad Online Customer Reviews And How To Handle Them

by | Best Practices, Branding, Online Presence

One of the best ways to handle bad online customer reviews is to have lots of good online reviews to significantly outweigh any negative.

The more 5-star reviews and recommendations you have, the less importance will be attributed to a few less than stellar reviews you receive.

That’s assuming a few things:

  1. You respond to the negative reviews without being defensive and rude.
  2. The products and services you deliver are 5-star review and recommendation worthy.
  3. That the negative reviews are few and far between.

Being Proactive

The challenge for most small businesses, mine included, is that we often aren’t proactive in securing good reviews.

In other words, we don’t ask for them! We leave it to chance, fate, luck.

And, when we leave it to chance, fate and luck and are not proactive in building our online reviews, then one bad review can deliver a serious blow to our brand and business!

To avoid being delivered a serious blow by a negative review, don’t wait for your customers to give you a good review!  ASK or INVITE your happy customers … and hopefully, all of them are … to share feedback on your great products/services and customer service online!

Responding To Negative Reviews

In today’s online world more and more people are comfortable giving online reviews to their local businesses.

Then, when you are an established business with lots of good reviews already, one or even a few negative reviews needn’t hurt your business. But, how you respond to those negative reviews, assuming they are infrequent and a small percentage of your overall reviews, will determine their impact.

When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to remember … it isn’t just the person who wrote the negative review who will see your response. Your response will also be seen by all the potential customers who will read your response to the negative review.

So, if you respond in a defensive, angry, critical or negative manner to a bad online review, it is more likely to damage your online image and affirm what the negative reviewer is saying. It will hurt your cause and not help it.

The article, ‘How to Respond to Negative Patient Reviews‘, has excellent advice on how medical professionals need to respond to negative patient reviews … and the advice given is just as valuable to any business!

More Good Advice On How To Respond To Negative Online Reviews

While responding to negative reviews (and positive reviews) is important, Sherry Bonelli shares this excellent advice on where to draw the line:

“Never respond more than twice to the same customer about the same issue on a public channel.” 

Click here to read Sherry’s excellent in-depth article on how to respond to negative online reviews.

In Sherry Bonelli’s article she shares the following statistics:

  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated
  • 85% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation

The Value Of Online Reviews

The value of online reviews will only continue to grow as more and more people take advantage of this way of showing satisfaction and dissatisfaction with businesses and their products and services.

Don’t wait to get serious about inviting reviews of your business!

If you desire to see your business grow its reach and market share, do not ignore taking a proactive approach to soliciting customer reviews from happy customers. You ignore this area of your business at your peril.