As we all know reviews are good thing to have…..when they’re good. When you get a bad review it can definitely drown a business, unless you have a smaller ratio of negative reviews compared to positive ones.

What to do with negative reviews?

So what do you do when you get a negative review? This is a question I get asked often. When you get a negative review, people wonder….should I respond to them (and how) or should I try to delete them. The latter, of course, is not recommended. I always suggest to respond to them and then bury them.

Bury a review?

What I mean by burying a review is to flood that channel… wherever it is…Google+, Yelp, Facebook or wherever. Get more reviews! Obviously you will want to flood those channels with positive reviews, so how do you get those? You reach out to your past and current customers. They obviously were happy with your services, so ask them. Simple!

Best practices on reviews

But the point about this was to mention the best practices with reviews. So as I stated before, a negative review can harm a small business, so you need to continuously solicit your current customers (because they are happy, right?!) so you can build up your reserve so to speak of positive reviews. Also I highly recommend responding to your reviews… good and bad. The hard part is always, HOW to respond to negative reviews. You know you have to be careful on how you respond and obviously your goal is not to belittle the customer, not to tell them they are wrong, even if the customer isn’t right and find a way to acknowledge their frustration and smooth things over.

An example — this recently happened

Something like this recently happened to a client of mine. It is a restaurant and this industry is one that is usually judged often and reviews can definitely hurt this business. A customer posted on his Facebook wall about his poor experience about this business. The client contacted me asking me what to do and whether they should comment on his post on his personal page or comment somewhere else. I suggested yes, to reply where he made the comment. He actually tagged the company, which is how she found out about the review.

The end result: the restaurant apologized for his experience, explained that this was not of their high standards and asked for another chance and offered a free meal. The customer replied positively, thanking them for acknowledging his concern, refused the free food (happy they acknowledged his concern) but would still give them another try. We all want to be heard and have someone validate our concerns which is why many go out to complain or share our experiences.

Acknowledge the situation

This just goes to show that noting that somebody is hurt or bothered by the situation that happened at your place of business and understanding that this was not the fault of the customer but that the business did something to rectify the situation is essential for the consumer.

Disgruntled or customers in the wrong?

Note, if the customer is clearly disgruntled, the response to the review acts as due diligence… not just to the customer but to other potential customers. When you leave negative reviews alone, it may send the message to other customers or potential customers that you don’t care, or wouldn’t care if the same thing happens again. Should the customer clearly be in the wrong, feel free to respond in a non-accusatory way but by explaining the situation and offering contact with the customer to help solve the issue. They may never respond but you did your due diligence….. then bury those reviews!

Bottom line

Just wanted to wrap this up and keep it simple for you.

  • Actively obtain reviews from current and past customers (positive)
  • Bury negative reviews with more (flood the gates)
  • Respond to all reviews
  • Acknowledge negative reviews and try to rectify their concerns
  • Shows all customers/potentials that you care about customer service

If you have any questions on how to respond to review or tips and tricks on how to bury your reviews, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help you create a plan of action with email marketing or otherwise.


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