How to Deal with Negative Reviews

15 April 2021

Running a business is a difficult, arduous, time-consuming task that requires your full attention and devotion. You become attached to your business and, essentially, your business becomes your baby. That’s why, when faced with a negative review or comment from an outsider, the natural reaction is to be defensive or dismissive. “What would they know?” is an all too common phrase heard from business owners all over the world.

However, being quick to dismiss a negative review can be more harmful than the review itself. A 2017 consumer review survey found that 85% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends, showing just how effective a negative review can be in turning away potential clients. If you become dismissive of negative reviews, they will quickly begin to pile up and the loss of business from these reviews can be extremely detrimental.

While it’s clear that a negative review shouldn’t go unaddressed, the question is, how can you turn a negative review into a unique, positive experience? Quite easily in fact. Here are some methods you should consider when dealing with a negative review.

Address the Review Quickly

Letting a negative review sit unanswered on whatever platform it has been posted on for a long time means it’s getting more exposure by the day, resulting in people being turned off your business. You have to address the review as quickly as possible. 

The quicker you are to respond, the more likely the customer is to be understandable about your side of the story. In fact, studies have shown that customers believe they should have their complaint responded to within an hour of posting it. This quick response could lead to the negative review being removed, or will at least show that you care about getting back to your clients promptly to those who see it.

Accept Responsibility

As mentioned before, it’s easy to dismiss a client’s negative attitude towards your company as the ramblings of an embittered person or to simply decide that they haven’t got a clue and to just move on. While this is the easy approach, it’s not the most beneficial for your business. You may chalk it down to being just one disgruntled customer, but word-of-mouth can quickly spread and before you know it, this one person has dissuaded many from using your business.

Luckily, a simple apology can go a long way. Reach out to the client and say that you are sorry. A lot of the time, the client just wants to know that their grievance is being taken on board. Listen to what they have to say and allow them to have a platform to expand on what their problem is, further than the single review. This will show you care about the client and what they have to say.

Create Solutions

A negative review is rarely a one-off situation. Often, if one client is having an issue with an aspect of your business, it’s likely that others are also. You need to address the problem they are bringing up and create a solution.

If you are receiving multiple negative reviews, look for any commonalities. Are there problems that could be easily fixed? Maybe they are raising issues that will take time to rectify but could ultimately improve your business? Whether you offer a quick, temporary solution or promise to look into the issue and create a solution later down the line, the client (and anyone else who sees the response) are far more likely to be satisfied and you could end up improving your business in the long run.

Balance the Bad with the Good

There may be occasions where you have tried all of the previous suggestions and yet the client still won’t remove the negative review. While this can be frustrating, a simple solution is to ask other clients to highlight the positives of your business. Many good reviews are far more likely to resonate with a potential client rather than one negative review.

Unfortunately, people are less likely to leave a good review than they are a bad review, regardless of how happy they were with their service. Make sure to ask clients to leave a positive review, or even offer incentives for leaving any review at all, to ensure your business gets the representation it deserves.

No business is perfect and unfortunately negative reviews are something that you will have to face at some stage. While this is unavoidable, the way that you handle them could make all the difference and one negative review could lead to you creating a better business. 

If you’ve received negative reviews because of a struggle to manage your jobs, calendar and business in general, Trade Trak could be your solution. Our comprehensive job management system lets you keep track of all of your jobs, schedule tasks, manage team members and contractors and more. If you want to find out more about how we can help you avoid getting negative reviews in the first place, you can contact us here or feel free to email us at contact@tradetrak.com.au.