• Greg Hunter

13 Tips On How to Handle Negative Reviews

Updated: Feb 25

No one is perfect, and that goes for Charleston-area businesses too. In a world where online reviews can make or break a company, it's inevitable that some negative feedback will slip through the cracks. The key to dealing with negative reviews is not to bury your head in the sand and hope they'll go away. Rather, you should take a proactive approach and try to learn from them. Here are 13 tips for handling negative reviews:



In today's digital age, online reviews are more important than ever for small businesses. A single bad review can have a major impact on your business, but there are steps you can take to combat them. Did you know that 73% of consumers say they read recent reviews only? In fact, half of online users only take reviews from the past two weeks into account. This means that, if you receive lots of great reviews, your one bad review will quickly move down the review ladder — making it less relevant. So make sure to ask your happy customers to leave a review and let them know you appreciate it!


1. Address the Issue Immediately


Negative comments on your website or social media pages are very hard to delete, so you should try to address them as soon as possible within the same post if possible, so everyone can see where you stand. This also allows other people reading the site – who may have had a similar experience – to be aware of how it was resolved. You can then update your post with a brief statement that acknowledges the negative review and lets readers know what you did about it.


Avoid making excuses or trying to justify yourself – just state what you did and why. Keep it simple and classy. You could also link those who want more information to another page with further details for those who are interested.


2 . Respond to Everyone


Always respond to negative feedback on all of your platforms, including comments on the review itself, social media posts about it, or elsewhere that people are talking about it. You should also encourage anyone who has had a positive experience with your company to leave an online review of their own. The more reviews you have – especially ones with lots of stars – the better it will make you look and will ultimately balance out the occasional clunker review.


3 . Acknowledge Mistakes & Apologize Directly


Not every negative comment requires a response, but if someone is being abusive or unreasonable, then you must take steps to protect yourself and other customers by replying directly. If possible, you should try to resolve the problem by meeting their demands or providing a refund if they are unhappy with your product or service. It shows them that you value their feedback and want to do your best to provide excellent customer service so you can build lasting relationships with customers both new and old.


4 . Try Not to Take it Personally


It might be easy to take every negative review personally, but this won't help anybody – especially not your business. Don't give up on your dreams just because of one bad experience! Keep in mind that the commenters may have had an unusually bad day when they called out your company, or maybe there was something specific about their situation that you could not have predicted. Try to take a step back and look at the situation from their point of view so you can learn from your mistakes, then use that knowledge to do better in the future.


5 . Be Proactive & Don't Forget Your Personal Brand


If you're running a Charleston area business, it's important to respond to negative feedback online, but don't forget to keep posting about your company and interacting with people on social media, too. If you've had to deal with bad reviews in the past, mention that fact when talking about your business or share similar stories with readers who may benefit from them. You should also check out what other people are saying about you by doing regular Google searches for your name plus "reviews" or "testimonials" to find out how you're doing and where there's room for improvement.


6 . Make Your Site Better Each Time


When trying to encourage customers to leave reviews, make sure your site is easy to navigate and has all of the essential information they need before getting started – like clear contact information and customer service hours. You should also simplify any purchasing processes by adding things like live chats if possible or allow shoppers who don't want to buy right away to sign up for your email list and get notifications about discounts and special offers first. This can help nudge them into buying from you when they come back later on.


7 . Would a Positive Review Help?


You can also find out how to get better reviews by asking the right questions. Try encouraging customers to leave a review once they've received their products and services through email campaigns, newsletters, or social media posts. Out of those who respond positively, you could offer them something like a discount or free product as an incentive for their loyalty – this has been shown to work pretty well!


8 . Never Give Up


It's important not to let negative comments drag you down – even if there are lots of them! Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and it'll be helpful for other consumers to know that you were able to fix things with ease. Even if there's little chance of getting positive feedback after receiving bad reviews, never give up on improving your business's online reputation.


9 . Don't Forget about Online Tools


Use tools like Facebook polls to ask your customers how they may have been able to fix any problems they experienced, or if their product arrived on time. You could also use a quick survey to find out why some people don't want to leave positive reviews – that way you know which issues to focus on fixing first.


10 . Offer Reasonable Options


If somebody says something negative about your business online, do not treat them as the enemy. Instead, try reaching out and offering them one of your products at a discounted price or even free of charge so you can continue building your relationship with them. This shows that you value their opinion and are willing to work together to resolve whatever happened in order for them to leave a positive review if possible. You can also consider offering them an incentive or giving them something for free in exchange for their honest feedback about your business online.


11 . Ask for Honest Feedback from Peers


You can also ask experienced peers who are familiar with review websites how they get the most out of them. They might suggest contacting influential bloggers in your niche so they mention you when writing about similar products or services to yours. Getting endorsements like these can help attract more customers in no time.


12 . There's No Time Like the Present!


If you want more customers, it's time to take action. Start by contacting your current customer base and asking if they'd be willing to write reviews for you once they've received their products or services – it can be as simple as including an email link in every receipt. If that goes well, try reaching out to people on social media who have shared similar interests with your brand and see if they'll leave some feedback during the next big sale or promotion. This is guaranteed to get people interested, so don't miss out on this opportunity!


13. Follow Up & Get Creative


If you're upset about receiving bad reviews, remember that it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Take a look at your online presence and consider why some people may have been unhappy with what they received. Once you know this, try to get in touch with them and offer a discount on their next purchase so they can feel confident spending more money on your business – don't forget that offering incentives works well too!


Even if you've made plenty of mistakes along the way, put yourself out there and try getting as many positive reviews as possible. The more customers who appreciate your products or services, the better off you'll be – especially when these clients share their experiences through their personal networks.


Wrapping It Up


You can't please everyone all the time, but if negative reviews start bringing down your business then there is definitely something wrong!


As much as the internet can be a huge space of opportunity, it's easy to forget that not everyone is going to like you. For every few great reviews, there will be one negative review that makes things seem bleak. But small businesses and entrepreneurs should remember to take the advice we've outlined here, and use it to their advantage!


Find out how to take advantage of negative reviews and turn them into positive exposure for your brand. Brand U Media offers affordable online reputation management services for Charleston area businesses

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