Eight Best Practices To Keep In Mind Before Responding To A Bad Review

Receiving a bad review for your product or service—no matter if it’s your first bad review or your 50th—can often feel like a personal attack. After all, entrepreneurs often put a lot of themselves in their businesses, including time, effort and passion. But a bad review doesn’t have to be a negative issue. In fact, it can be a great opportunity to learn.

When responding to the review then, you’ll want to keep certain best practices in mind. Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss a few of those practices and why entrepreneurs should follow them when determining how to handle any bad review their business may receive.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Reflect First

Try not to react right away; rather, reflect. Sometimes the review may not necessarily be about you or your business, but rather about the miscommunication or misunderstanding along the way. Putting emotions aside can help you see the review from another perspective and take it as feedback on how you can improve the customer experience. – Julian Hamood, Trusted Tech Team

2. Own It And Appreciate It

Bad reviews are the best source of learning. If you don’t take it as a personal attack but rather as a valuable source of feedback, you will grow 10 times faster. Always respond to a bad review with gratitude. Apologize if you have to, and clarify if you disagree, but don’t ignore it. You need to shape that story or else your customers will do it without you. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Resolve The Issue Privately

Don’t try to resolve the issues in public! Reach out to the customer privately to try to resolve the problem first. The customer may then remove the review altogether, but if they don’t, you can reply publicly with something like, “I’m sorry you experienced X, but I’m glad we could help by Y.” This lets other potential customers know that you take proactive steps to ensure customer satisfaction. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

4. Try Not To Take It Personally

The person may have reasons why they left that review, from having a bad day to truly not being satisfied. Not everyone considers the negative impact of their words. Take a step back, take a deep breath and remain classy. Answer as soon as you can, but remain calm and professional. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

5. Be Authentic

Authenticity and accountability are key. Don’t ignore the bad review; respond to it. Ask what you could have done differently and if there is a way you can remedy it. Other potential customers will see that you care and want to make things right. People will also realize that we are human and make mistakes. It’s how we respond to those mistakes that make all the difference. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

6. Determine If The Review Has Any Merit

First of all, read the review carefully and determine if the complaint has any merit. You may need to discuss the matter with someone else, such as an employee who has interacted with the customer. If there’s a genuine problem, you may be able to resolve it by contacting the customer. If there’s no action you can take, just accept it as part of the reality of being in business and let it go. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

7. Take It As A Learning Opportunity

As Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” You should document and analyze all the feedback you’re receiving in a spreadsheet. When you track this information, you can begin to identify key problems with your service or product. Look for common issues popping up, and then address those in your product or service. – Andy Karuza, NachoNacho

8. Reach Out With Empathy

Your best practice is to reach out to the reviewer with empathy and a will to solve problems. I have seen this method transform enraged customers into long-term, loyal customers because people want to feel heard and be dealt with fairly. That is a bar any business person can clear without question. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

Originally Appeared Here