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Navigating Negative Reviews: A Guide On Turning Setbacks Into Success

Online reviews are an essential part of doing business. With more than 93% of consumers saying they read online reviews to determine whether or not they want to spend their money with a business and almost 80% of consumers saying they trust reviews as much as they trust personal referrals, the influence they hold can't be overstated.

Positive reviews are digital gold for small business owners, but what about the negative ones? Negative feedback never feels good, and it can be difficult to figure out the best way to address it.

Below we'll discuss how to handle negative reviews so you can turn that setback into success.



Respond Quickly

Aim to respond to any reviews, good or bad, within 24 hours of it being posted. When you respond to a negative review quickly, you show potential customers that you value honest feedback, care about the opinions of the people you serve, and are proactive. You also show that you're committed to addressing concerns & resolving issues. Responding quickly can also help prevent the problem from escalating further. 


Remain Calm & Professional 

Receiving a negative review can cause a wave of emotions, but when it comes to addressing them, it's crucial to respond without getting defensive or emotional. Even if the review seems unwarranted, responding with hostility will only worsen the situation. As a good rule of thumb, remind yourself that you need to keep the same professionalism you would want a business owner to use with you. 


Acknowledge The Issue & Apologize 

While the customer isn't always right, telling them that could cost you their business in the future and the business of potential customers. Be sure to apologize for the inconvenience, express empathy, and communicate that you understand where they are coming from. 


Look Into The Issue

In order to offer the best solution, you'll need to investigate the customer's complaint further. If it was a customer service issue, review your or your staff's previous communications with them and how those were handled. If there was an issue with how the product or service was delivered, try to reflect on how everything was done. The more you understand the problem, the better your response will be. 


Offer A Solution 

Whether it's a refund (full or partial), a return, a new item, redone service, or just sound advice, it's essential to always offer a solution when replying to negative reviews. While some customers won't accept anything you offer to correct the issue, many will, and this can help win back their business. Being solution-focused also shows potential customers that if you or your team make a mistake, you work hard to fix it. 


Take The Conversation Offline 

Ask the customer for their contact information so that you can contact them directly to resolve the issue. This is an easy way to avoid miscommunications, allows you to talk through the issue with the customer, and gives you the chance to offer a more personalized apology & solution. 


Follow Up With The Reviewer 

Once you feel like you were able to resolve the issue, make sure you reach out to the customer to ensure they're satisfied with the outcome. This will help you ensure the interaction ended on a high note, rebuild trust, show that you're committed to providing the best experience, and take customer satisfaction seriously. 


Learn From The Feedback 

Negative reviews can yield positive outcomes. While it's never fun to hear that someone had a bad experience with your business, they create opportunities to improve as a business. By knowing what areas of your business need a little work, you can make the necessary changes to prevent negative reviews in the future. 


Encourage Reviews 

To make sure you're receiving reviews, you need to ask customers to leave them, especially when you know they've had a positive experience with you. Whether good or bad, reviews are what help build your reputation as a business. While not every one will be positive, the ability to see feedback from multiple customers will only increase the likelihood of gaining new customers. 


The Bottom Line 

Navigating negative reviews is essential to having a successful business and online presence. Instead of viewing them as setbacks, treat them as opportunities for growth & improvement. By responding to them quickly, empathetically, and professionally, you show your commitment to customer satisfaction and that you run your business with transparency and integrity. By asking for feedback, addressing and correcting any issues, and leveraging positive reviews to counterbalance the negative ones, you can help soften the impact of negative reviews. This will help build long-term success and credibility for your business. 


Wondering why reviews are so important? Check out our previous blog, You Need Ask Your Customers For Reviews And Here's Why!
Are you a small business or non-profit interested in being spotlighted? Want more small business tips & Tricks?  Let's connect! 
Send us an email at llf@vizypay or find us on Instagram & Facebook


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