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

Business SEO

Published Oct 21, 2019, 11:02 AM
Approx. read time 3 mins

Depending on your business, you may be getting reviews coming in left, right and centre. Hopefully, most of your reviews are positive. But what do you do when the reviews are less than positive and heading towards being negative?

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, it shows you're active and responsive to customers. When the review is positive, it shows the reviewer that their opinion is valued. However, it is arguably more important that you respond to negative reviews; ignoring them will not make them 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 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 the reviewer for their feedback. Keep your response professional and use the reviewer’s name where possible when going through the points they made. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to inform you of their point of view, touching on each of the points made, and turning each negative into a positive.

Show that you listen

Feedback is essential in growing your business and improving customer relationships. Where possible, show 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 any suggested changes. This will encourage more positive reviews because you are showing that their voices are heard.