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Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce
  -  “How to’s”   -  Bad Reviews: What to Do?!

Bad reviews are the stuff of nightmares for business owners. Despite all the hard work you invest in ensuring an amazing experience for your customers and clients, a few of them will inevitably find something to complain about online.  Sometimes they don’t like the price; sometimes they think that the receptionist is being rude; and other times they’re just angry that it took them five whole minutes to find a parking space!

Unfortunately, no matter how outstanding your products might be, bad reviews are a fact of life for just about every business. You need to be prepared!

Here are five tips to help you minimize the impact of bad online reviews!

1. Sympathize with the customer’s concerns

When customers decide to write bad review, they are probably dealing with a situation they find extremely frustrating and they want to vent their aggravation. While responding, make sure customers feel heard and understood.  Show them that their opinion is important to you, and that you are truly sorry to hear that they had a negative experience, and that you are willing to do your best to solve the problem.

2. Don’t mention your business name in your response

Every time you use your business name in your responses, it increases the chances that these responses are going to be visible in the search engine results consumers receive when they are looking for your type of business online.  If you are thanking a customer for a good review, this could have a very positive impact. For negative reviews, however, the impact is reversed and you are actually making the damage worse.  You obviously don’t want to increases the chances that your potential customers will see your negative reviews before they see a good review.

3. Keep it short

In case of bad experiences it is better not to focus too much on the details of what happened in public. The response should address the problem in few sentences and focus more on solutions to a customer’s problem.

4. Keep it private after the first response.

One of the best things you can do when responding to a bad review, is to offer to customers a way to solve their problem privately. It’s best to have one of your customer service representatives or office managers contact the customer directly to address the matter. If done properly, this will show that you care about your customers’ opinions, and it will also prevent any further complaints from being discussed online.

5. Don’t forget the power of persuasion.

While writing your response, try to emphasize the fact that this bad experience is an exception and that it doesn’t reflect the experiences of most customers. That will reassure prospective customers      that  their experience with your business is likely to be a good one.


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