Do you have a fear of negative reviews? It’s okay! No one can be perfect all the time, and sometimes a customer’s experience isn’t stellar – be it from a customer service mishap or a miscommunication. If they leave a review (which is way more likely if they’ve had a bad experience than a good one), what’s most important is that you use that information to better your business and that you reply to the unsatisfied customer.

But how you respond to a negative review is even more important than the review itself. So before you start furiously typing away about your side of the story, check out this quick video from Taylor on what you should NEVER do when responding to a review. 

TL;DW:

  1. Don’t throw your computer.
  2. Don’t get emotional.
  3. Don’t write a response without giving yourself 24 hours to cool off.
  4. Don’t post your response without having someone else look it over.
  5. Don’t ignore it.

Okay, now you know what not to do. What should you do when responding to a negative review?

  1. Stop and calm down. When you own a service business, a negative review can feel like a personal attack, but don’t let it agitate you. While every negative review needs a response, they don’t all need a response the minute you see them. Give yourself some time.
  2. Ask yourself how you can turn this into a positive experience for your bummed out customer. Sometimes all it takes is a thoughtful response saying that you understand their concerns and it won’t happen again. Other times it might take an offer of goodwill: offer to pay a cleaner to fix the carpet your tech dropped his tools on; offer to talk to them personally to discuss their side of the story. Sometimes people just need to know they are heard. But even if you can’t make your customer happy, it’s important that you respond in a way that shows potential customers who see your response that you care and want to make things right. Look at every negative review as a second and third chance to get a 5 star review. Not only will the initial customer that you respond to hopefully be satisfied by your help in resolving an unpleasant situation, but potential customers viewing the review and response in the future will have the opportunity to see how much you care about each and every customer’s experience.  
  3. Send the review to your Spark Marketer account manager if you need help with a response. We’ve helped with countless review responses and we’d be happy to help with yours. Let us know your side of the story and what you’re willing to do to accommodate the unhappy customer. Sometimes having a little outside help from someone personally vested in your company, but not quite as close, can help enormously.

Have you ever gotten a negative review that you weren’t sure how to respond to? Or have you ever gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your customer’s negative experience got a happy ending? Tell us about it!