Coping with a negative review online

If you're new to the online world it could take some time to get it right and there's the strong possibility you may receive some criticism as a result. Negativity via the internet is almost common practice now and even the biggest and most successful brands receive harsh criticism in one way or another, but it's how you deal with criticism that can set you apart from your competitors.

Remain calm

Many small business owners often take negative feedback personally as they are so attached to their business the criticism hits close to their heart. Because of this, it's a good idea to wait before responding to negative feedback as immediate responses can sometimes be emotionally driven. A prompt response is good, but a calm and diplomatic response is even better.

Always provide a public response

It's always disappointing to receive negative criticism, but sometimes it can actually be turned into a positive. By choosing to respond to your negative feedback publically and graciously you have the opportunity to showcase your level of customer service as well as your business values.

Be diplomatic and gracious

Remaining diplomatic is often the hardest part when replying to unfavourable feedback. Even in the instance the customer or reviewer is being unreasonable it's important not to lash out. Instead, thank them for their feedback, acknowledge their complaint, and determine if there is anything constructive you can do to improve their experience.

Make amends where possible

As we discussed before, responding to negative feedback is a great way to demonstrate the excellent customer service your business offers. You should try to directly contact the negative reviewer, in addition to your public response, and see what you can offer them to compensate for their bad experience.

Always consider feedback

Not all feedback will be constructive and for that reason it's very easy for SME owners to become immediately dismissive to any type of negative review they receive. However, if you do start receiving consistent criticism it may be time to address areas of the business that can be improved.

Address suspicious reviews

The internet is full of negative commentators and from time to time you may notice reviews that aren't genuine. In the instance where you do doubt a review it's best to flag it with your host website detailing reasons why you are suspicious.

Encourage more reviews

It's human nature to complain, and as such it's a lot easier to write a negative review than it is to post positive feedback about your favourite business. It's important you actively try and encourage your happy customers to review your business, as negative reviews will receive more attention if they are surrounded by an influx of positive feedback.

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