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 ...



More about Jacqui Frost ...


I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.

Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!

I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!


+44 (0) 1604 529170


More blog posts for you to enjoy ...

Driving Instructors And Why They Shouldn't Use A Phone
We can help keep your license points free ...

We're SME Northamptonshire Business Awards Finalists!
In three categories this year ...

Are Classic Gender Roles Finally Outdated?
It is the 21st Century after all ...

How To Get An Edge Over Your Competitors
It's a challenging world out there ...

Thinking Of Recruiting With The GCSE Grading Changes?
The new grading scheme could confuse ...

Your Business Should Be Getting An A*
One bad grade brings your overall result down ...

Have You Voted In The SME Northamptonshire Awards 2017?
We'd love you to vote for The Office Genie ...

How To Hire A Receptionist
Maybe we could help?


By Category ...

Business Tips (59)

Call Answering (12)

Call Handling (108)

Customer Experience (2)

Event Management (3)

General (39)

Guest Posts (8)

Networking Tips (3)

Virtual Assistant (18)

By Popularity ...

Call Handling For Professional Service ...

Daddy Daycare

Is your answerphone holding you back?

Through Thick And Thin

Giving your event the x-factor

The Pros and Cons of a Virtual Assista ...

Dropping Like Flies

Why you need a Virtual Assistant

Call Answering: Love Is In The Air ...

When you're really busy

Get Your Free Ebook

* indicates required

Login ...

Remember me