bad reviews

This article will show you three productive ways to use bad reviews to enhance your business.

By Curtis Boyd

For most business owners, getting a bad review has been a dramatic and highly negative thing. From this day forward I would like you to cut the association between bad reviews and negative outcomes.

As an enlightened and customer centric business owner you can now receive feedback positively and constructively, and actually use the bad review to improve the reputation of your business. As digital strategist Neil Patel so bluntly puts it: your business needs more negative reviews. This article will show you three productive ways to use bad reviews to enhance your business.

First, learn from your customer complaints

Be humble. When a customer complains, listen. Take their feedback seriously and heed every single word they are saying. The idea here is that you will learn from whatever mistake you made, so you can prevent this from ever happening again in the future. These are real growing pains that all business owners go through, the natural evolution of a more caring and more successful business owner.

Anticipating potential customer issues will help you take the necessary action to keep your customers happy and your marketing manager even happier.

A business that can anticipate every potential customer issue, will win the local marketplace.

Second, engage your upset customers

The second way you can use a bad review for good is to bring upset customers them back for a secondary and amazing experience with your company. It’s time to buckle up and get ready to lay out the red carpet. Here’s what you should do: respond to the review privately, invite them back and negotiate the terms of their satisfaction.

The goal here is to get them to update their review to a positive one. How is that possible? Do whatever it takes to make them happy. It might cost you more money, or time – but it is worth it.

The ideal situation with bad reviews, is that you can turn things around with your award winning customer service and get them to upgrade the review.

Nothing says, “ I will take care of you, even if something goes wrong,” quite like a 1-star upgraded to a 5-star with the steps the business took. It’s absolutely priceless for your organization.

Third, show potential customers that you care

Responding to negative reviews isn’t only about bringing the upset customer back into the fold. It’s also about showing your customer service on a public forum. Over half of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews, and a good portion expect a helpful response in a matter of 24 hours. The best thing you can do is meet those expectations.

Show customers you care, with a well written and thoughtful public response. Customers reading your reviews are ready to purchase, they are reading the reviews to make the final decision whether to hire or contact you. Here are some elements your response should contain:

  • Apologize for their experience, validating what they went through and promising that your standards don’t reflect their experience.
  • Establish the number of years you have been in business, the number of customers you have served and the elements of your business customers most enjoy.
  • Make an offer to make things right. Give your number and an offer to call to fix the problem or respond to any additional feedback. If you can swing it, add an offer for something on the house — a free meal if you run a restaurant or a discount if you run a shop can go a long way.

With these three steps in place, you should be well on your way to making the most of those bad reviews.

Curtis Boyd is CEO/Founder of Objection Co, a review removal software company. He is fond of extra large charcuterie plates, scenic views, and his 1-year-old son. On occasion, he also enjoys solving complex business problems pertaining to Online Reputation. @ObjectionCo

Bad reviews stock photo by Sichon/Shutterstock