Bad Reviews on GoogleIf you have been in business for any length of time, chances are good you will come across someone who is less than happy with your performance.  When they share their negative feelings with the world, it hurts.

Yelp said it best by stating “negative reviews can feel like a punch in the gut.” In addition to a damaged ego, negative reviews can damage your profits.  Especially if they bring down your star rating or are clustered together.

I see it all the time; and I hear plenty of excuses about why the negative reviews posted about my clients businesses are completely unjust.  What I do not see, however, are well-defined strategies about how to respond.

Here are a few quick tips on how to respond to negative reviews.

Keep a level head.  Okay, it’s not fair.  The client was unreasonable or it was a titanic misunderstanding.  Whatever the case may be the review is out there and you need to respond to it.  When doing so keep in mind it is business. Try not to come across defensive, as hard as that may be.  When drafting your response it may be best to have someone else review it for signs of whining.

Own the issue.  When clients leave negative reviews they want to know they have been heard.  Calmly communicate that your hear them and thank them for bringing the problem to your attention.  Those researching your business will read both the review and the response – write the response with these potential customers in mind.

Offer a solution.  This is a great way to make a bad review into an opportunity to show you care.  Again, write a solution knowing potential customers will read this many more times than the angry bird.

Highlight the positive.  Embrace the chance to tout that you have happy clients. Say something like “I am so sorry you have had this experience, as you can see from our other reviews we are very good making our clients happy and will do everything we can to fix this…”  If you don’t have positive reviews posted then get to work on that first.

Respond to your negative reviews but do it correctly. Keep your responses short and to the point while still resolving the problem.  This will show potential customers you are engaged and tuned in.  It will make all the difference in the world.