When you own a business – whether it’s a little coffee shop or an online clothing store – one major hurdle you’ll need to overcome is how to handle criticism. Any longtime owner can tell you that negative feedback is part and parcel of the game and that it’s virtually impossible to get everyone to like you. People, in general, can be hard to deal with at times.
With the knowledge that you’re likely to receive at least a few bad responses to your business, the real test is how you actually react to those reviews. The key is staying level-headed and dealing with them in a professional and calm manner.
After all, you’ve unquestionably faced many challenges in starting up your business, so there’s no need to pack it all in if a few criticisms head your way. Here’s how you can cope with any negativity directed towards your company.
Grow from it
Maybe the worst thing about negative feedback regarding your small business is that it might actually be true. Maybe your prices are too high, your service or delivery times are too slow, or your products are of bad quality. Sometimes these bad reviews are a wake-up call of sorts and provide a path to an overall better future for your small business. This is a chance to improve your company.
Sometimes these bad reviews are a wake-up call of sorts and provide a path to an overall better future for your small business. This is a chance to improve your company.
Not the end of the world
There are bad online reviews, and then there are public relations frenzies that can virtually destroy a company’s reputation. Once you read about
Once you read about some of the worst PR nightmares that went viral, that 1-star review on your Yelp page might not sound so devastating after all, particularly if it’s surrounded by other 5-star reviews. This will put things into context and you’ll see that customer reviews may always fluctuate.
This will put things into context and you’ll see that customer reviews may always fluctuate.
Offer a second try
Hey, if you don’t get it right the first time, then there’s no shame in trying again. If possible, get in touch with whoever made the negative feedback, find out further info, and see if you can persuade them to give your business another go.
You could offer incentives such as free delivery, money off, buy one get one free, etc. so that you get a second chance in impressing the customer. Perhaps you just had a bad day, or maybe they were in a particularly spiteful mood when they wrote the review!
Platforms like Yelp or Google allow for the user to edit their review, so there’s always the chance that they will be more favorable towards you next time.
Take a deep breath
Whilst it may be tempting to let loose a tirade of equally vicious comments upon the reviewer, this is not likely to be a battle you can win. Read the review a few times, take a deep breath and perhaps circle the block.
Unless you’re operating a major company’s Twitter account (who can probably afford to lose a customer or two), it’s not a good idea to respond to bad feedback with sassiness and rudeness. These Twitter conversations show how the pros deal with negativity in a fun manner.
It’s often the case that friends and family are perhaps too nice, and it may take a disgruntled customer to actually reveal any problems with your business. Therefore, don’t take it to heart and instead take the opportunity to review the issue and resolve it appropriately.
Therefore, don’t take it to heart and instead take the opportunity to review the issue and resolve it appropriately.