Handling negative reviews

When a customer leaves a negative review it gives you the golden opportunity to make  corrections and improvements to your services, especially if you have employees that face the public and you might not really know how they handle themselves.

Every business owner wants nothing but good things to be said about their business and that only happens if customers are happy with their services. If your are committed being the best, knowing what your customers really think of your service and what matters to them is very valuable.

However, when it comes to negative reviews,  not every business owner takes negative critique well, and instead of making corrections to improve their service, or attempt to make it right to the customer, some make it a lot worse.

We found these examples of business owners extreme way to handle the situation:


Restaurant owner tracks down to harasses reviewer

A group of friends go eat at an asian food New York restaurant and one of them leaves a one star review on Yelp, with a detailed explanation of why he wasn’t satisfied. The owner was able to track him down through Facebook and started sending a series of really nasty, even threatening messages. This turned out to be a costly decision, all his messages quickly spread in social media, and a group started a Facebook page promoting the banning of the restaurant! This guy eventually apologized but the damage to his reputation was already done.


British couple gets fined  £100 for posting a negative review

This british hotel was getting poorly rated consistently with complaints about their state of disrepair. In order to prevent bad reviews, instead of making any corrections, they decided to fine those who didn’t like the hotel and rated them, and started warning customers of their policy in their booking document that reads  “…For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”

A british couple who didn’t read the small print and left a one start review on Trip Advisor, found this out when they got the extra £100 charge on their credit card.
Beverly Hills Dentist Sues Over Bad Yelp Review

A woman had cosmetic dental work done which left her with bigger teeth than everybody to a point that she couldn’t close her mouth. After two years of no resolution, her then husband wrote a pretty bad review of the dentist, calling him a butcher and a crook. The dentist sued the couple in turn, claiming it was another dentist, not him.  I don’t know how that will end, but probably not well for neither of them…


What to do instead

If you are one of those who takes it personally and get’s offended, take a deep breath and go for a walk. Accept that this comes with the territory.  If you want to be known for the great service you provide, then be open to feedback that will ensure you are on top of your customer service game from your customers perspective, which is the only one that counts. Welcome negative feedback and take it as an opportunity to quickly address any issues, and more importantly, as an opportunity for dialogue with your customers to show them you care about their satisfaction. It is as simple as responding to the comment promising to address the issue and make things right for them. Keep in mind, those searching for reviews will also see hoe you handled it.

How do you handle reviews? Do you have a systematic way of collecting them? Do you check regularly what’s being said? Whatever you do don’t be those guys…

Sources: Mashable, ABC news, UpRoxx