How To Turn Bad Reviews Around

Turn that frown upside down ...


Receiving a bad review for your business can seem to be a disaster, but is it? There was a recent bad review posted on TripAdvisor about the Hotel Doolin in the West of Ireland ...

The odd bad review should be seen as a good thing!

The odd bad review should be seen as a good thing!

copyright: kebox / 123rf stock photo (licensee)

The reviewer had a rant about being charged extra for her room when they just turned up without prior booking, how they were booted out of the bar at a certain time and how the WiFi was spotty.

"The General Manager posted a fantastic reply on TripAdvisor!"

Not only did he use some excellent humour but pointed out some discrepancies in the original post and showing that in the case of the WiFi, there was nothing he could do because, well, the hotel was located in the west of Ireland.

The best part, for me, was that he had fully discussed the review with every team member who was on duty that night and showed what steps he took to correct it.

The first thing to remember is not to take it personally. Whether you're a retailer or a service based company, this is a great opportunity to improve your offering. Taking the bad review on board should be seen as a good thing.

If you're a coffee shop and the tables were covered in used plates and cups, then tweak your cleaning schedule with your team.

If you're a retailer and a product was delayed or damaged, then maybe you need to take a look at alternative couriers?

Here are some top tips to help you turn bad reviews around:

  1. Reply to every review you can find, both positive and negative. A simple 'thank you' or a 'glad you enjoyed it' goes a long way.

  2. Take responsibility. If something needs fixing then get to it, but work with your team rather than impose a solution.

  3. If someone on your team did something wrong then apologise, but if the reviewer is just being irrational, staying quiet may be the best option.

  4. Invite all of your customers and clients to review your business so that the impact of the odd bad review is dissipated.

  5. Offer to replace a product or send the reviewer a discount coupon. Ask them to post a second review about how you responded.

  6. Ask the reviewer how they think you can improve your offering. Implement any suggestions you agree with.

  7. Give your customers and clients a direct channel to make a complaint before they post something online. A 'how did we do today?' form on tables, an email address or telephone number that is answered by a responsible person; these could save you public embarrassment later on.

  8. Correct missinformation. If a reviewer has said something blatently wrong, adding a reply to correct them will show you in a positive light.

Checking for new reviews on a regular basis is important. Websites like Yelp and Trustpilot are 'known authorities' so keeping up to date with what people are saying about you is valuable, and it gives you an opportunity to respond promptly.

Remember, if your business only ever gets five-star reviews then this could look inauthentic. So the odd bad review should be seen as a good thing. As long as you deal with the issues it raised and ensure it doesn't happen again, you can turn it around and actually increase business because of it.

"Of course, the best way to deal with bad reviews is to not get them in the first place!"

You do that by offering an excellent service. And if you want to know how The Office Genie can help you with that, call us on 01604 529170 and we'll tell you how.

Until next time ...



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