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How to Respond to Bad Reviews

As a business owner, you take great pride in providing the best experience possible to your customers. But…there always seem to be a few bad apples in the bunch, right? When this happens what do you do? We are going to cover a few ways you can respond to negative reviews and turn them into positive experiences.

First, please and I mean please, DO NOT reply to the review arguing or telling off the customer who wrote the bad review. This is very unprofessional and will draw a lot of attention to your company in a negative manner. Which could possible cause prospects or existing customers to not want to patronize your business anymore. It’s great you even noticed the review, but this is not the response you should take.

I find that most business owners do not even take the time to view the reviews that come in from customers. This is important to do for several reasons:

1. It can be very encouraging on those tough days to see read through great reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook

2. It allows you the opportunity to respond to reviews, thanking the customer for a great review, or responding to a question someone may have had

3. Sometimes the constructive criticism, consistent complaints or even consistent raves can help you identify some areas of opportunity you may have in your business

4. On average, happy customers tell an average of nine people about good experiences, and nearly twice as many (16 people) about poor ones – making every individual service interaction important (American Express)

5. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business (BrightLocal 2016)

6. 85% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrighLocal 2017)

When you see a negative review on your business, you should first identify if the review is an actual bad review or if it is fake. There are people and competitors who may post negative feedback on your review sites. In the event the review is not valid, you should report it to the review site, whether it’s Yelp or Google to have it removed. If it’s actually valid, you want to respond by apologizing for the poor experience and offer to resolve the issue. Respond in a sincere matter and provide contact info where appropriate. Remember prospects and customers are looking at the review. Make sure your response is professional and solution seeking.

Even if the customer is wrong, just take care of them. It may not seem obvious, but if you can change a bad experience to a decent ending you can deter that customer from telling everyone about the bad experience they may have had. When you respond quickly it shows you care about this one customer and are willing to go the extra mile for every customer.

Last, but not least, the best way to respond to bad reviews is to be proactive. How great would it be if you could get ahead of bad reviews before they’re posted? Today, you can.

At Conglomerate Marketing we offer a package that will increase the amount of 5 star reviews you receive from customers, resolve bad reviews before they happen, and increase repeat business. Our program uses both in-store and online methods to drive more reviews and increase revenue for your business. For details regarding this package, take a look at our Bronze Package at