How to Recover from Negative Reviews Tricia O'Donnell Like it or not, you’re not always going to be able to please everyone. There will always be someone who feels dissatisfied with your product or service. And the longer you’re in business, the greater the likelihood of ending up with a few negative reviews under your belt. Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, people can now share their opinions with the world with a few clicks of a keyboard. The good news is there are ways to respond and recover from negative comments about your brand and sometimes even come out smelling like roses in the process. Let’s take a look. Don’t take it personally. Do you rave about everything you eat, buy or experience? Of course not. But you certainly have a right to your opinion – and your customers do as well. The first key to bouncing back after a bad review is to remember that it’s not personal. When someone critiques your product or service, they’re not necessarily criticizing you. How could they be when they don’t even know you? Take a step back and try to view negative comments as objectively and non-personally as possible. Don’t rage. Engage. When someone says something bad about something you are passionate about, it’s easy to get defensive and lash out in response. This is the worst thing you can do as a business owner. Even if the review seems like an attack, responding in kind will only serve to paint you in an even more negative light. To avoid this, you should approach every review from a place of positive professionalism. When responding, don’t just think about the person you are responding to directly. Also, think about the dozens or hundreds of more people who may come across the exchange at some point when looking up information about your business online. If you remain calm, apologize for the situation and present a viable solution, you’ll demonstrate to prospects that you’re listening, you care and you’re willing to right a wrong situation. Conversely, if you come back with a defensive argument, you’ll not only sever the relationship with the reviewer, but you could potentially drive away future prospects in the process. Even if you feel the comment is baseless, you should still try to spin it in a positive way. “Thank you for your feedback,” or “Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.” Appease them by acknowledging that they are unhappy and do your best to make it right. In some cases, this won’t be possible, but you should at least make an effort. Negative reviews can become positive progress. When you remove emotion from the equation and approach negative comments from an objective place, you’ll have the opportunity to identify areas of your business that could, indeed, use some improvement. For instance, negative reviews might help you recognize a problem employee that could benefit from additional training or should be terminated. Or, you might find out about problems in your service process or flaws in your product. Try to view critical comments as a chance to grow and improve, and you’ll be one step ahead of the game. As a bonus, when customers see that you’re willing to go the extra mile and put their feedback to positive use, they’ll be far more likely to stick around and possibly even recommend you to others. Negative reviews are never fun, but they’re par for the course in business. And if you approach them from the right perspective, you can actually end up with positive results in the end.