Do One Thing

What to do if I get a bad review?

July 8, 2024

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I'm Julie — digital marketing strategist, online community expander & hype-woman extraordinaire!

Meet Julie

Quick Info:

Why care?Handling negative reviews promptly and professionally instills confidence and trust in you from other readers.
Who should do this:All businesses
Platform:Any review platform (e.g., Google Reviews, Yelp)
How?Read on…

What is UGC? (User Generated Content)

Today I want to chat about reviews.

When I said that word, how did it make you feel? Excited? Nervous?

We all know the thrill of seeing those five-star ratings roll in, but what about the fear of the dreaded one-star bombshell? 😱

Sometimes the fear alone can keep you from collecting reviews for your business. But we need to address that today because the rewards far outweigh the risks, and you don’t want to miss out on these valuable nuggets of UGC (User-Generated Content… more on that here.)

Today, I want to assure you that even if you receive a negative review, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s a chance to show your customers just how awesome you are at handling feedback!

So grab your favorite mug of coffee (or whatever gets you going in the morning), and let’s dive into how to navigate the wild world of reviews so you can become a seasoned pro in less than 10 minutes!

Why it matters to respond

First things first, let’s address why collecting & responding to reviews—both positive and negative—is crucial. When customers take the time to leave feedback, they want to feel heard and valued. By acknowledging their reviews, you demonstrate that you care about their experience and are committed to addressing any concerns they may have.

Moreover, consistent engagement with reviews establishes a culture of transparency and accountability within your business. It shows potential customers that you take feedback seriously and are dedicated to providing excellent service.

So just the act of getting into the habit of responding to your reviews is planting seeds of trust for future customers.

What happens if someone leaves a negative review?

Receiving a negative review can feel like a punch in the gut.

It’s natural to internalize the feedback and let it shake your confidence. But here’s the thing: negative reviews aren’t personal attacks. They’re opportunities for growth and improvement.

By reframing the feedback as constructive criticism, you can uncover valuable insights that help you better serve your customers.

So first, take a deep breath, step back, and give yourself a moment to remove any emotional reaction before you respond.

Do something that makes you laugh and reminds you how incredible you are, and how much your work is valued by others.

Then, when you’re ready to look at the negative review as a reflection of what the person who wrote it is going through (instead of a reflection of you), you’ll be ready to show up in a way that is authentic and confident.

How to Respond Positively to Negative Reviews

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of responding to negative reviews in a constructive manner:

  1. Be Swift and Responsive: Show your customers you’re on the ball by responding promptly to their reviews. They’ll appreciate your attentiveness and dedication to addressing their concerns.
  2. Keep it Kind: Maintain a professional and friendly tone in your response. Remember, kindness goes a long way, even in the face of criticism.
  3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Take a moment to understand where your customer is coming from and investigate internally to see what may have gone wrong.
  4. Own Up to Mistakes, but Don’t Overdo It: If a mistake was made, be honest about it and address the steps you’ve taken (or will take) to remedy the situation. There’s no need to take the blame for things that weren’t your fault. Be honest and transparent in your response. We’re all human, and allowed to screw up sometimes.
  5. Offer to Discuss Further Off The Platform: Offer to discuss the issue further if this is the first you’re hearing of it. Invite the customer to email or call you directly. Don’t hash out details on the review platform.
  6. Be You, Be Real: Show your customers the person behind the business by signing off with your name so they know their feedback is being heard by you directly.

You don’t need to convince the person you are right.

Lastly, kindly remind yourself that responding to negative feedback does not mean you have to justify your actions, nor does it mean that you have to win over the person who left the feedback.

You’re responding more for your community so they can see your integrity.It’s ok to stop engaging with a person who continues to be negative after you’ve followed the above steps.

Today’s task

✅ Take the next 10 minutes to look at your online feedback, whether it’s on Google Reviews, Yelp, or any other platform where customers can leave reviews. And start leaving responses!

Thank those people who leave positive feedback, and if you find a negative, or less than ideal comment, you know you’re equipped to handle it with grace & courage.

Do one thing to to demonstrate responsiveness and showcase your commitment to ensuring that every customer feels valued and heard.