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4 Things You Need To Do When Handling A Negative Review

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negative-review No matter how hard you work at pleasing every single one of your customers, bad reviews are simply a part of begin a business owner. The fact of the matter is that it is practically impossible to please every single person who comes into contact with your business. Most business owners are tempted to immediately go on the defensive when they read a bad review. They want to tell the reviewer how wrong they are, and if acting in haste, may say something they will later regret. Don’t let that be you. Bad reviews are going to happen, and you can’t change that. What you can change is how you react to them. Take a look at these five things to learn what you must do when handling a negative review.

1. Be Calm

Take a few deep breaths. Meditate. Do yoga, scream, or eat a ridiculous amount of chocolate. Do whatever calms you down before you do something about the review. Just let it sit there for an hour or two if necessary. It will still be there when you have calmed down and collected your thoughts. The truth is that people simply do not think when they are angry, and that can lead to some problems much more serious than that one negative review.

2. Don’t Get Defensive

This is a big one. Your business is like your baby. You gave birth to it, nurtured it, and watched it grow. So, yes, it is very natural to get defensive. But you need to avoid that as much as humanly possible. Or, if you do get defensive, don’t be defensive in your response or actions pertaining to the review. When you act defensive, you are only setting it up to look as though the negative review was the one being truthful, thus making you look like the fool.

3. Step Back & Review The Situation

Before you craft a smart response to your negative review, take a few minutes to put yourself in their shoes. Read over the review with a critical mind. Can you see the point they are making? Honestly think about whether or not their issues are real. There are always those who simply like to make trouble, but chances are 99% likely the issue was real. Would you be upset if you were in their shoes? What can you do to fix the situation, and will it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? These are all questions you must ask yourself prior to responding.

4. Respond In A Smart Manner

Responding to the review is fine, and is in fact encouraged. You need to be very careful in the way you respond to negative reviews, however. Be smart about it. Take your time to craft a well-phrased, fully thought out response. Don’t call names, don’t be defensive, don’t be a fool… plain and simple. Instead of fighting back, your response should be dedicated to seeing how you may improve upon the issues stated in the review. Mention how you would like to correct the situation, and ask the reviewer if they have any suggestions on how you may better your business.


Negative reviews can seem like the end of the world, but the hard truth is that they are simply a big part of running a business. While you can not change the fact that you will get bad reviews, you can change the way that you handle them. Just remember to be calm, don’t get defensive, review the situation, and respond in a smart manner. When handled correctly you decrease the chances of a negative review severely impacting your business.

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