3 Ways Your Business Should Be Handling Bad Online Reviews

So, today started off like every other day. You got up, got ready for work, got the kids after school and then, unexpectedly... over your first cup of coffee... you see it. Your business has gotten a bad review. I know your first reaction is going to be to break the computer, but c'mon now! What did it ever do to you? Before you resort to violence... try these 3 tips first!

Tip 1: Stay Calm + Don't Place Blame

Take a deep breath and remember... there is not a single successful company - ANYWHERE - who has never gotten a bad review. It happens. It doesn't mean the reviewer is a terrible person or that your or someone on your staff is in the wrong field. It just means that a mistake has occurred or there was a gap in communication and, guess what? We're human. It happens.

Use this time to collect as much information about the complaint as possible so that you are knowledgeable on the issue before reaching out to rectify the situation.

Tip 2: Respond Quickly + Politely

Are you feeling better? Good! Time to respond. If you have a staff, it is highly recommended that you appoint someone to managing reviews for you. This business is not just four walls; it's your baby. You have a better chance of responding without emotion, if you are not the one doing it. However, if you're a lone wolf and don't have a choice -- remember to respond as quickly and as politely as possible. Responding to the review, publicly, does two things. 1) It shows potential clients who come across the bad review that you are a business who cares and has quality customer service 2) It opens the lines of communication with the reviewer and gives you the opportunity to rectify the situation.

Tip 3: Move The Conversation To A Private Location

Once you have open the doors of communication with the reviewer, suggest moving your conversation to a more private location. Ask for a phone number so that you can call him/her, personally, provide a customer service email where they can reach you for a prompt response or... if at all possible... correct the situation immediately so that further communication is not necessary. If you're really feeling confident and have satisfied the customer, you could even politely ask them to remove their review or edit it to reflect your great customer service!

There will always be times when you just can't seem to make a customer happy. When this happens - and the 3 tips above fail to fix the problem - we have one more tip for you. BURY THE REVIEW. Most potential clients will only read the top 5-10 reviews on a business. Ask friends and family to hop online and add their own reviews to bury the bad one. It's not the most honest method in the world... but it sure is creative, right?