How To Handle Negative Reviews: A Survival Guide for Small Businesses

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When you're starting out in business, you may be getting reviews coming in left, right and centre. But what do you do when some of those reviews are less than positive? Negative reviews can have a big impact on small businesses, it can deter future customers and make current ones question their loyalty. Here are a few steps you can take to minimise the impact these reviews have on your business.

Respond to your Reviews

Responding to all of your reviews is good for your business. When the review is positive it shows the reviewer that their opinion is valued. However, it is more important that you respond to negative reviews. ignoring it will not make it disappear. Responding to reviews can show the reviewer that you have considered what they're saying and that you're going to make changes to improve the processes in the have future. Meaning they're more likely to try your business again once things have improved. It can also create a positive impact on your online reputation and encourage others to post a review, in turn creating better reviews.

Avoid Getting Personal

The responses to the negative reviews should be polite, useful and clear. If you have received a bad review it is often very tempting to start defending yourself, getting personal in the process. It is tricky to win an argument with an unhappy customer, getting defensive can aggravate the customer further, causing more harm than good especially if they feel you are being impolite or patronising in any way.

Individualise your Responses

No matter how you feel personally about a review, you should always thank them for their feedback. Keep your response professional and use the reviewer’s name where possible when going through the points they have made. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to inform you of their points, touching on each of these points turning each negative into a positive.

Show that you listen

Feedback is essential in growing your business and improving customer relationships. Show, where possible that you have taken the necessary actions to resolve any issues that have been brought to your attention. Reply to the reviews giving evidence that you have implemented the changes that have been suggested. This will encourage more positive reviews, showing that their voices are heard.

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About the Author

Bethan Buckingham

Software Support Specialist