How to Approach Unfavorable Reviews

In today’s ever-evolving digital world, information travels at the speed of light. One negative review on a website, or any of the social media platforms can raise the dogs of war. These reviews can pack a hefty influential punch, even if they are written by some bored troll of the internet. If not properly handled, the wrong response to a negative review online can create even more damage, or worse, go viral.

Reflection Before Reaction

It is easy to let your emotions call the shots and get angry or defensive, especially if you are in the habit of receiving positive reviews. But it is important to remain calm and not give power to that natural response of fight or flight. Lashing out, or waging war against the system or individual who delivered the review will do no good for you, or for your business. Jean Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais wrote : To prove that I am right would be to grant that I can be wrong. For the scientist as for the philosopher, for any man who seeks the truth, “wanting to be right” seems legitimate. But, through the use of this expression in everyday language, we often manifest the reproach of a perverted will in a tyrannical or desperate desire to impose at any cost its point of view on its audience or to be persuaded of it yourself. So “wanting to be right” is it open to criticism? So reflection is key.

“By understanding in kind and understanding, it shows that your business cares about the quality of the experience or service that you are providing.”

Be proactive! Those negative reviews tend to stick in consumer’s minds more than positive ones, so it is important to address bad press appropriately. While you cannot hit that ‘delete’ button and pretend that those negative reviews from Facebook, Yelp, Amazon, or any other public forum never happened, any review can be a spin in your favor if you display authenticity and diplomacy in your response. Take the time to thoughtfully respond to a complaint – lean back in that chair with a preferred beverage, get your positive juices flowing by taking a walk, or reach out to a friend for their honest and unbiased opinion and make sure you fully understand the review that was given. By responding in kind and understanding it shows that your business cares about the quality of the experience or service that you are providing, and the public is dealing with human beings and not with robots.

Good Can Come from The Bad

Remember that sometimes those negative reviews can benefit you and your business. If every review that is posted is positive and consists of four- and five-star ratings, the opposite of what you want can happen and potential customers could become suspicious, feeling that the reviews are “manufactured” rather than being left by real customers. Negative reviews can help to contribute to building trust, rather than diminishing it.

Remember to ask questions and get clarifications, always see the value in feedback! It can lead to positive change.