Any business owner knows that a negative review is inevitable. It’s going to happen. So how do we minimize the impact? How do we make sure that any potential customers aren’t scared away by this negative review? I’ll explain…

What do you do?

There are two types of business owners when it comes to negative reviews. There are those that respond to the review and those who don’t. And not responding to the review is about the worst thing you can do.

Your goal is to minimize the impact of this negative review on your business. And the best way to do that is by responding to it.

But you need to respond the right way…

Don’t get defensive.

The natural reaction is often to defend yourself, especially if a reviewer is saying simply isn’t true…

But getting defensive isn’t going to help you, and more often than not it’s going to result in you coming off as a jerk.

In addition to not getting defensive, don’t be condescending either.

So often business owners get defensive, but all it does is make you look bad and anyone who’s reading your response starts to believe the reviewer. So…

How should you respond?

It’s easy. You need to respond with something along the lines of:

“Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us a review. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t a good one. I greatly apologize for any frustration we have caused. Our goal is always to not only meet our customer’s expectations but exceed them. I greatly apologize for any frustration we have caused.

I would like to take the time to discuss the matter with you personally so we can come to some kind of resolution that is to your satisfaction. Please call me at 555-555-5555 as soon as possible or send me an email with a time that works for me to call you. Thank you.”

Now here’s the truth…

Your response isn’t for the reviewer.

They’re angry. They’re not going to call you. They’ve vented, they’ve told the world. It’s done.

Your response is for the hundreds of people who are going to see this review when they’re researching your business. You’ve admitted that something obviously went wrong and took responsibility for it.

You’ve told them you care about their feedback. You’re sorry. And you want them to contact you as soon as possible to fix it. That’s the best way to handle this situation.

Getting defensive makes you look guilty and that the person may be onto something. And not responding makes it look like you just don’t care.

But what if the review is completely false or fake?

It happens. Sometimes what the reviewer is saying is completely wrong. Sometimes the reviewer isn’t even actually a client. Maybe they’re a competitor trying to bring down your score, maybe they’re mistaken and have the wrong company.

Whatever the case, you’re going to answer the same way as I mentioned before.

“Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us a review. Our customers feedback is very important to us and we want to not only meet but exceed all our customer’s expectations.

Unfortunately, after checking our records we have no record of you being a customer with our company. However, we still would like to know why you’re upset. Please contact us at 555-555-5555 so we can do whatever we can to remedy the situation.”

Conclusion

Responding to negative reviews will only take a few minutes out of your day, but I promise you the results will be worth it in the long run.

Just remember, whatever you do, make sure you respond.

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