Don’t you wish you could make everyone happy? Wouldn’t you love it if every single one of your customers had an incredible experience with your company?

Yeah, it would be pretty cool. Unfortunately, it’s impossible. There will always be people you can’t please. There are people who are bent on finding something to complain about and sharing their bad experiences with the world.

But there are also genuine people who have a negative experience who may actually be really nice. Either way, you’ve received a bad review. Or 2, or 3.

How do you respond to a bad review? The way you answer that question has the potential to set you apart from the competition.

Can you actually take a bad review and turn it into a good experience? A smart business owner, customer service agent, or marketer should think so. Keep reading to discover exactly how to respond to negative reviews and feedback to actually benefit your customers and business.

The Difference Between Negative Feedback and Negative Reviews

First, let’s clarify the difference between feedback and a review. Reviews are intended for the general public. They are meant to inform potential customers about the experience of previous customers; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

People who leave bad reviews generally don’t care to have the problem resolved, they’d rather have attention and make a point.

Feedback is different. It’s usually submitted privately and unofficially. It could come in the form of an email, a live chat, a social media comment, or in person.

Basically, when a customer contacts you directly to share their experience, they are looking for help. They want a solution.

How to Respond to Negative Feedback

Have you received negative feedback from a customer? This is an opportunity to shine.

Your goal is to listen, to understand the problem, and to make it right. Assume all responsibility. 

Remember, if they have a particular problem, it’s likely that 10 other customers have had the same problem but didn’t bother to contact you.

So after you make it right with the customer, either by replacing a product, giving them a gift card or credit, or whatever makes sense for your business, take notes.

Thank the customer for bringing this issue to your attention. Let them know you are going to prioritize a solution all thanks to that customer. Now the customer is the hero.

Best Way to Respond to a Bad Review

Bad reviews are different. They are often plastered everywhere for the public to see. Some people’s mission in life is to find ways to make other people look bad.

You’ll want to be aware of your reputation. Using reputation management software, or hiring a company to do this for you, will let you know who is talking about your business and where.

Wondering how to respond to a bad review? First, take a few hours off. Reading a negative review can make our blood boil. We think irrationally and are often angry.

Once you’ve calmed down, contact the customer directly. If you can open a line of communication, you can often remedy the issue. You can follow the steps above to make it right with the customer and thank them for helping you make your business better.

More often than not, people will change or delete their bad reviews when companies make this conscious effort to make it right.

Take the High Ground

It’s not hard to effectively respond to a bad review. The most important thing to do is not react act out of anger. Calm down before deciding what you are going to say or do.

Remember, anything you say or do will likely be reflected in an updated review. So do your best to take the higher ground and make it right.

And if you need further advice for running your business like a pro, be sure to check out more articles on our blog today.