5 Tips for Handling Negative Online Reviews

If you have customers, you have negative reviews. If your company is on social media, you get negative feedback. No one is perfect, but the difference between those who reject negative reviews and those who handle them well can mean the difference between a positive brand and a negative one.

At Riley & You, we deal with companies that have customers, social media, and occasionally negative reviews. We have a few tips to help you know how to handle negative feedback when it happens.

Don’t ignore it.

Negative reviews won’t go away, and it’s imperative that you respond to the comment. It may be tempting to delete negative feedback; however, responding well to negatives can actually turn into a positive when other customers see a thoughtful and respectful response.

Respond in a timely manner.

Don’t let a negative review sit with no response. At the same time, if you are hurt or bothered by the complaint, an immediate response that is a gut reaction can reflect poorly on you. Take a deep breath and practice empathy. Compose your reply in a document or text editor, so you can proofread and edit as needed.

Be polite.

Don’t be defensive. Don’t blame the customer, and remember that online the customer really is always right. Respond in a professional manner by offering to continue the conversation privately or using it as an opportunity to focus on the strengths of your company. Remember that everything you say is seen by every one of your followers.

Take it offline.

In many cases, the best thing you can do is acknowledge their post, and then ask them to contact you directly (provide a name and number) to discuss the issue in person. If you are a medical company, remember that confirming someone as a patient in an online forum is a HIPAA violation. It is very important to take the conversation offline where their privacy can be respected and the damage of negative remarks can be limited.

Let someone else handle it.

You can stop spending emotional energy and valuable time thinking of appropriate responses to negative reviews by getting someone else to help with your online brand. Our Interactive Team is made of experts with experience managing online reputations. We can monitor and respond to your online reviews – positive and negative.

Finally, don’t be afraid to let negative reviews help you become a better company overall. It is a very good practice to review what people are saying about your company and determine how you can fix repeated issues. Your company will be better in the long run, and you can prevent future negative reviews. At Riley & You, we know the value of customer feedback and want to help you monitor and respond to your customers in order to help your company thrive and grow.

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