social media, marketing
Written by Joe Paradiso

Kill Your Bad Reviews With Kindness

No owner or manager wants to see a bad review about their business that could impact their online reputation.  Many take bad reviews as personal insults or attacks but you can’t take it personal, it’s just business.  Recent studies have shown that roughly 40% of consumers will post a

positive experience while nearly 95% will share a negative experience, so there’s a good chance that no matter how focused you are on customer service and satisfaction you will have to deal with a bad review.   Another key statistic is it takes five good reviews to undo the damage of one bad review, which isn’t resolved, so when that inevitable damaging review shows up, what should you do?


Our natural reaction go online and attack the writer of the bad review, discredit their story and make them look bad.  While ranting may make you feel a little better it’s not going to help how your customers and potential customers view your business.  Step back from the keyboard and try to remember the interaction if you were directly involved or review the circumstances with your employees.   While some customers may have unrealistic expectations, most are rational, so try to understand what the person’s motivation could be for wanting to write a bad review about your business.

Respond With Empathy

Responding to a bad review is your chance to showcase how much you care about your customers and how you handle dissatisfied customers.  There is nothing worse than a bad review that is left unanswered, where as a good response to a bad review can almost be as good as a positive review.  Let the disgruntled customer know you care, be empathetic to them, even if they never read your response (though studies show they will).

Turn a Bad Review into a Good One

bad reviews to good

How to maintain your online reputation

Thank the customer for their time and acknowledge you understand their dissatisfaction.  Depending on your business, if practical, encourage them to meet with you in person or speak to them live via phone.  If it’s easy or inexpensive to resolve the issue then offer to do so, if that’s not possible, offer them an incentive to use your business again.   Store credit or discount can motivate even the most irate customers to give you a second chance.  If you’re able to reach amicable terms, and the customer’s next experience is positive it would be completely appropriate to request they update their review to reflect the situation was resolved.

A positive approach is crucial in handling and responding to bad reviews.   Use bad reviews as an opportunity to showcase how much you value your customers and what a great business you have.

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