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Screen with "The Importance Of Negativity" on it

Humans Are, By Nature
Opinionated.
And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Whether it’s politics, pets, or pineapple on pizza (it does belong on pizza. Because science), people have thoughts and/or feelings about a topic.

And That Extends To
Businesses, too.
Every business needs a reputation of some kind.
And this requires the opinions of others, and that’s expressed in the form of reviews.

Reviews Can Be Found At Various Places.

Some companies who offer products from somewhere (think Amazon and eBay) have reviews on the product page, allowing people to make more informed decisions before making purchases.
For other companies, there are places like Twitter, HelloPeter and Facebook, which provide a single platform for voicing what they like about a company. And what they don’t.
Google also has built-in reviews through their Google My Business feature, which makes the process of looking at reviews much easier.

Whether It’s
Due to a genuinely bad experience or trolling, people may not like a service or product a company offered.
And you’d best believe they’ll be vocal about it.

And That’s Okay.
While getting a bad review may seem disheartening, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.

Any genuine review, no matter how good or bad, should be treated with equal attention.
There are right (and very, very wrong) ways to respond to negative reviews.

Let’s Look At An Example Or Two.

In my very first blog post, I made mention of three companies that stood out for their personalities. And the reason they stood out was because…

They Responded.

Whether the comments were negative, positive, or almost completely unrelated, they responded to almost all of them.

Not Only Did They Respond,

They responded in a way that was unique and fun. It made people feel heard and understood.
Ultimately, it gave them a sense of identity and set the bar for what people could expect from them.

But They’re Not The Only Ones.

I’m so glad I get paid to find clever comebacks to online reviews, and I’m even more glad I get to share them with you.

Sometimes, A Bit Of Attitude

Is a good thing. There are multiple instances of clever responses to bad reviews (with this one being my favourite).
These responses show that they care about their reputation and that they won’t take things lying down.

But It’s All Relative.

My boss will agree that a bit of sass isn’t bad by any means. But, for every action, there must be a reaction.
This is a very good example of what not to do.
In that instance, there wasn’t any respect for a genuine (incredibly thorough) review.

See, The Thing Is

Words spoken in anger are like nails in soap.
You can remove the nails, but the marks will remain.
You’re free to respond to bad reviews however you wish, but understand that the Internet doesn’t forget. Once it’s out there, it’ll stay out there. Whether you want it to or not.

A Couple Of Guidelines 

Would help to minimise your metaphorical marks in the metaphorical soap.

Breathe.

Take a day to breathe and process negative reviews.
Sometimes we’re just angry or frustrated, and that can influence how we react.
Reapproaching the situation the next day will ensure a clearer head, which would mean a more level response.

Acknowledge And Apologise.

If you’ve provided a service that wasn’t what you claimed it to be, it’s your responsibility to apologise.
Being able to acknowledge when a product or service hasn’t met expectations shows that you’re open to learning, changing, and growing for the better.

Take It Offline.

There are many, many reasons to do this, but we’ll stick to the basics.
By taking things offline, you can remove further correspondence on review sites, meaning that nobody else sees what goes on afterwards. Additionally, it makes things more personal, which can defuse many a situation. Popping a reply in asking to move things offline shows that you’re responding to a review while also asking to follow up, which indicates that you care about that reviewer’s experience.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short + Sweet)

When it comes to getting a bad review, there’s no need to go overboard with a response.
The less you say, the better. It’ll minimise the risk of saying things that could worsen relations with the customer.

But, Above All,

You should keep an open mind. There are people behind these reviews. They may have had bad days. They may have had bad experiences.
But they’re not necessarily closed off to change.

There Are Many Reasons Why Bad Reviews Are Bad.

But there are many more reasons as to why bad reviews are good.
They’re opportunities to grow your business, learn from your mistakes, and engage with your customers.
It all boils down to how you handle a bad review.

It’s Understandable

That anybody would become upset at a negative review.
Sometimes, we need a little bit of help from others to handle it.
And that’s okay too.

So,

Next time you get a bad review, try taking a breath.
Step away for a day. Give it some thought.
Then come back.
What you say could be very different from what you would have said.
And what they say back could be very different, too.

The Bottom Line Is That

Negativity isn’t all that negative.
It’s an opportunity to gather information that helps you provide a better product or service experience to your customers.
An opportunity to show that you care.
And an opportunity to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

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