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The dos and don'ts of negative reviews

Published on 04 June, 2019

Everyone knows that negative reviews are just a part of owning a business, but when you receive a particularly bad review, it can be hard not to take it personally. Lose your cool with a customer though, and you may regret it! Reacting the wrong way to negative feedback can damage your brand for life, so make sure you get it right by following these simple steps.

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Do be polite

When a customer calls your product a “piece of junk”, it might be difficult to hold your tongue, but writing a polite response is a must. Step away from the keyboard for a minute if you have to, then reply in a calm, helpful manner.

Don’t ignore their feedback

Tempting as it may be to stop an angry customer from being able to use your product to get them back for that damning review, it’s unlikely to get the customer, or the general public, on your side. Garadget decided to lock a customer out of their own garage after disabling their new smart garage door opener.

The silliest part of this story? The customer probably would have calmed down if they’d just been offered technical support or a refund, but instead the company got lumbered with a ton of bad press.

Do have a policy in place

Even if you only have one person who responds to all your feedback, you should put a policy in place to ensure every reply is within those guidelines. This will allow your customer service team to have a firm idea of how to respond to positive and negative reviews, how they should follow up a complaint and what they can offer a customer in terms of compensation.

Don’t get involved in a public argument

The customer is always right, except when they’re not. What do you do when you know a customer is lying about the service they received? Well, we don’t recommend trying to sue them, which is exactly what this American restaurant tried to do after receiving a scathing Facebook review

Even if you know the customer is in the wrong, avoid throwing accusations at them – it won’t do your brand any good!

Do say sorry

If someone has had a poor experience with your business, the least you can do is say sorry. It doesn’t mean you have to admit fault or give the customer a full refund, but it does show that you care about how they feel, and you’ll learn from their feedback.

Don’t let your emotions get the better of you

Texting an already upset customer that you’re going to punch them in the face is not a good way to make sure that customer, or their friends and family, use your business again, but it may get you some attention from the police.

Negative reviews are rarely malicious, so contact the customer offline and see what you can do to solve their issue.

Struggling with negative reviews?

Download our new guide to negative reviews today to understand why people leave one-star reviews, how to respond to them and what to do with the fakes.

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