1 Star Human (How NOT to respond to negative reviews)

Handling negative reviews with tact and professionalism is an effective way to show customers & prospects that you care about their feedback and have great customer service. Buuut sometimes owner responses can lack the sensitivity and thoughtfulness and create the opposite effect. In this new series – “How NOT to respond to negative reviews” – we’ll take a look at some replies that missed the mark and walk you through the dos and don’ts of dealing with troublesome reviews.

The Case of the 1 Star Human

Ok… there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s break it down:

  • Don’t respond to negativity with negativity. While it may seem like an obvious tip, refrain from labeling and name-calling. Referring to a dissatisfied customer as an idiot, a shame, or *sigh* an “evil weak coward” will not only antagonize that individual; it also plants a big, bright red flag for curious would-be patrons checking out your business. As nasty as a review like this is, you can express regret that his experience did not reflect the values put forth by you and your team and do it without resorting to name-calling.
  • Take a moment to calm down. Timeliness is crucial when it comes to addressing customer complaints, but you need a level-head before replying. If you can’t write a response that conveys a sense of respect and politeness (or you use the phrase “1 STAR HUMAN”), you’ve got some editing to do. If possible, pull in someone who is not as emotionally vested to help you compose the reply.
  • Address accusations of racism seriously. An accusation of racism should not be taken lightly even if you know it’s unfounded because the accusation plants the possibility in the mind of prospective customers. Assure everyone, firmly and clearly, of your objection to such discriminatory behavior in any capacity. And of course, you do want to verify that you and your employees are not being unintentionally or intentionally racist. If upon gathering more information you do find your company at fault, fix the problem. Like all reviews, take the matter as an opportunity to get better.

Let’s be honest: negative reviews can be infuriating when they are worded this harshly and severely. But a poor response can make the situation worse. Consider these tips the next time you feel unsure of how to respond and check out this guide that walks you through how to handle different scenarios. Your ratings (and stress-levels) will thank you.