How to deal with negative reviews


Business people I meet often complain to me that they are wary of the social web because it makes it too easy for people to leave negative reviews. That’s true, but if your stuff stinks, what did you really expect?

People have always complained about bad experiences. It’s just a whole lot easier and much more public these days.

But savvy business people welcome negative reviews. They see them as free lessons on how to improve.

And the very smartest people I know get excited when they get a bad review. They know an unhappy customer is just a future delighted customer who needs a bit of love. They go out of their way to put things right and consistently turn what could have been a damaging situation into more loyal customers for the future.

You see, in business there are few things more toxic than someone who’s had a bad experience and feels let down.

But someone who was initially disappointed but then received the help and redress they deserve can become a magnet for future business.

And, please, don’t make the social media novice mistake of trying to censor bad reviews. That’s just pouring oil onto the fire. You’ll get found out and the social web will punish you for your deceitfulness. Interestingly, a few bad reviews alongside good reviews can even have a positive overall effect as this study from Stanford Business School shows.

So, embrace the bad reviews. Welcome them as a chance to show you listen and want to improve. If your product or service needs fixing, fix it fast. And then make sure that your negative reviewers can see how much you appreciated their feedback and put right their grievances, no matter what it takes.