You Got A Bad Online Review. Now What?

January 15, 2015

woman looking unamused

As a business owner, reputation is a major component in the future success of your agency. When consumers have a good experience, they will tell their friends and family about the service they received. If they had a bad experience, they won't come back and will still tell others.

Word of mouth is not new to marketing. People have always talked about their good and bad experiences. The difference is that in today's digital world those experiences can reach a lot more people thanks to the reach of the Internet.

When researching products and services online, especially a local business, we look for reviews first. Online review platforms like Google, Yelp and Facebook allow consumers to rate and share their experiences with local businesses.

While you can't control these third-party review websites, they are important to your online presence and reputation. Remember that you may on occasion get a negative review. That's okay. There are some things you can do to salvage the situation.

See It From Their Point of View

No one knows your agency more than you. If a client writes a bad review stating you gave her bad service, try to put yourself in your client's shoes before you answer. Whether the service was bad or not, it's best to empathize with your client to help make her experience better.

No Matter What... Respond

Once you're alerted of a bad review, respond. Being unresponsive will only leave an even worst taste in the mouth of the person who wrote the review and to those who see it.
Leave your response on the bad review itself so it is clear that you're handling the situation. Also, be aware of your tone. No matter if you're fuming hot, you need to convey a friendly and professional tone when replying. In other words, kill 'em with kindness. If you're really mad, take a little bit of time (but not too much) to cool off before you respond.

Move the Conversation from Public to Private

After you've publicly responded, it's time to privately contact the client. Try reaching him or her by phone, email or direct message if on social media. Reaching out to the clients who left a bad review shows you care and can go far in repairing a damaged relationship.

Cover the Bad With the Good

Now that you've fixed the problem, you need to focus on getting rid of the negative review that is rearing its ugly head. You shouldn't try remove the review, but you can move it down the page a bit. How? Ask your happy clients to leave their own positive experiences on the review website.
The best way do this is with an email campaign. This helps you move the bad review down and show off why your clients love doing business with you.

Remember, a negative review is not all bad news. If you only get positive reviews, it can look like you paid for those comments. But an occasional negative review that you have responded to adds credibility to your positive ones.

Have you had experience with managing a bad review and have something to add to this list? Comment below.


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