Dealing with Negative Reviews

How To Handle Negative Reviews

Dealing with negative reviews is something everyone may come across at some time in their business life. It may be deserved or not deserved, but whatever the case, you need to handle it carefully to avoid permanent damage to your reputation.

Sometimes this can be a simple one-to-one apology, but in more serious cases, you could need to call on the services of a Reputation Management company.

Happily I have never had any comment that I couldn't handle. But it's as well to be prepared.

So today I am pleased to welcome a guest author, Christian Hamilton a Reputation Specialist with ReputationMangement.com.

Over to you Christian…..

Dealing With Negative Reviews

dealing with negative reviewsDisappointing as it may be to find one about your business, here are some ways to navigate what can be a discouraging or even startling experience.

Treat every critical review as an opportunity to grow. You’ve worked hard to make your customers happy, and seeing a negative review can make it feel as though you’ve failed. Stay calm! Even if you don’t agree with the review, try to take a step back and look at the situation from the customer’s point of view. After you’ve genuinely considered the feedback, it’s time to respond.

Communicate With Your Customers

  • Responding quickly to negative reviews is key.
  • Address the customer’s concerns by taking the conversations offline.
  • Be apologetic, and provide a potential solution. The customer will appreciate this and may even decide to modify or add a new review of their own volition.

Earn And Encourage Positive Reviews

Ask your customers for feedback and thank them for their input.

Provide customers with a great experience and make it easy for them to leave feedback for you by placing a feedback form on your website.

You can even add reviews from third party sites to your website so that customers can see where they can find you.

Be proactive in building your online presence.

If you do ever fall victim to an attack, we offer myriad reputation management services that can help.

Don’t Focus Only On The Negative!

As easy as it can be to fall into the habit of zeroing in on only the negative reviews about your business, it’s important to celebrate and address the success of earning positive reviews as well.

Online reviews are a numbers game, and having a few negative ones won’t destroy your business. In fact, having a few negative reviews can make your positive reviews seem more trustworthy.

Know Your Options For Dealing With Fake Reviews

Negative reviews are already tough to deal with, but it’s especially frustrating if they’re not true.

The first line of defence against fake reviews is to monitor for them: be sure to set up a Google alert for your company’s name and also keep an eye on relevant review sites.

Get in touch with the review site if you have evidence that the review is illegitimate – you may not always be able to get the review removed, but it’s certainly worth trying.

If the review can’t be removed, defend your business’ reputation by responding to the review in a positive way. State the fact that you have no record of working with the reviewer, but encourage them to contact you directly to resolve their situation.

Reputation Management

For more information on developing a solid online presence or for help developing a plan of action if a situation ever gets out of control, contact the team at ReputationManagement.com.

About The Author

Christian Hamilton is a Reputation Specialist with ReputationMangement.com, lending his expertise to multiple reputation management projects.

ReputationManagement.com is a leading provider of top-class reputation management services to organizations, businesses and individuals around the world.

Over To You….

Thanks for those helpful tips, Christian.

I'm interested, now, to hear my readers' views. Have you ever had to handle negative reviews – fake or otherwise? And if so, how did things work out for you?

Please share

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Amar kumar - January 31, 2017

Hey Christian,

A negative review is not good for our business but a rude, aggressive or flippant response from you will probably damage your reputation even more.

Successful business people learn from negative reviews, improve their business if need be and then move on. We should try to use each negative review as a chance to learn something new. Eventually, thanks for sharing your healthy thought with us.

With best regards,

Amar kumar

    Joy - February 4, 2017

    Definitely not a good idea to respond aggressively to a bad review. It makes your business look unprofessional and adds credibility to the negative review.

    I agree – respond politely, do what you can to address / correct the negative comments, learn from any mistake and move on.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Robin Khokhar - January 31, 2017

Hi Joy,
yes, we must not write fake reviews as well as read the fake review. And we must be having an ability to judge the review.
And also thanks for sharing an amazing article.

    Joy - February 4, 2017

    Hi Robin,

    I’m sure none of my readers would stoop so low as to write fake reviews 🙂

    But you raise a good point about judging whether reviews are fake or not.

    Funnily enough I once wrote a genuine review where I criticized just one aspect of a hotel – everything else was positive comments. I submitted actual photos taken at the time. My review was published, but not the photos that proved my point.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Lea Bullen - February 1, 2017

Hi Joy,

These are good tips when it comes to handling bad reviews. Whenever I see how a business responses to a complain I pay attention to what is actually said by them. And if it includes what you’ve mentioned I consider trying them despite the bad experience of one customer.

Too often business reply to bad reviews by being argumentative without addressing the real issue at hand.

Christian has written a nice guide for appropriate handling.


    Joy - February 4, 2017

    Hi Lea,

    That’s a good point. Your business will be judged as much by the way it handles a negative review as by the content of the complaint (which of course could just be a fake review from a competitor).

    Because of the possibility of fake reviews I would still give a business a chance if I saw the complaint handled courteously and professionally. After all…. I guess almost every small business has had one of “those” customers.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Chery Schmidt - February 4, 2017

Hi Joy! This is some great advise right here on how to handle a bad review. I also think it is important to answer right away in a positive way..

Great share..

Chery :))

    Joy - February 4, 2017

    Hi Chery,

    Yes, the sooner you reply to a poor review or a fake review the better. Otherwise it’s just hanging about there, leaving doubt in the mind of a potential customer. Good point!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Mandy Allen - February 4, 2017

An interesting topic, Joy. I have read somewhere that we should all get used to negative reviews because no matter how good we are there will always be that one person whose needs we cannot satisfy. We should learn that it is often more about them than us. I do agree that we can learn a lot from some negative reviews though and dealing with false negatives is a hard lesson to get used to.

Enjoy the journey!

    Joy - February 4, 2017

    Hi Mandy

    You’re right – no matter how hard we try, some people will never be satisfied. I haven’t had many bad comments and as far as I’m aware, no negative reviews, but there were a couple of “attacks” that felt very hurtful. Best not to take these things personally, just answer their points reasonably and move on.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

DeeDee Lynn - February 5, 2017

Hi Joy. I heard once that you should look positively at a negative review. It’s a way for you to look at what might have gone wrong and think of ways do to better next time.

Of course, it seems that a lot of people are plain mean or are wanting to crash the competition. The advice on reputation management is very good. Thank you.

    Joy - February 5, 2017

    Hi DeeDee,

    As with life in general, we should learn what we can improve on from negative reviews.

    But yes, you’re right… it’s just mean when people use fake reviews to crush their competition. Let’s hope that karma will prevail.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Edward Thorpe - February 5, 2017

Hi Joy & Christian,

Thanks for turning Christian loose, Joy. Having spent some years in customer service, I used to love getting the opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a raving fan – something Christian pointed out at the beginning of this no frills post.

Also have had 1st hand experience with how some negativity can increase sales, and reputation. Good post. Thanks,

    Joy - February 5, 2017

    Hi Edward,

    Love the way you talk about a complaint as an opportunity to turn a customer into a raving fan. I bet you were great in customer services.

    My Dad always says “It’s not the mistake that matters – it’s how quickly and well you fix it.”

    Thanks for your visit.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

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