How To Handle a Bad Review on Yelp or Google

We know the struggle. You work hard to put out a good product and market it, and some meany-face internet troll tries to thwart your efforts by posting a 1 or 2 star review. Ouch. It hurts. But it happens to the best of us, and the way you respond can be your saving grace.  

Follow these five steps for dealing with a bad review: 

Never ignore a review, good or bad.  

Leaving a bad review unanswered robs you from the unique opportunity to resolve the issue, and possibly retain the customer. Furthermore, it gives the impression that you may not be concerned with acknowledging their grievances. Reviews are public, and the way you treat clientele directly impacts your business.  

Never respond in anger or frustration.  

The need to respond in a calm and courteous manner should trump your impulse to respond immediately. Take a step back. Think of the review as a problem needing resolve, rather than an opportunity to embarrass or prove the customer wrong.  

Apologize, always.  

Always lead with “We’re very sorry you had an unsatisfactory experience with us,” and never ruin the apology with an excuse.  

Guide the interaction away from public view.  

Even on your best behavior, you can’t judge how the customer will respond. Once you’ve apologized, provide contact information so that the matter can be resolved directly, and away from prying eyes. It’s extremely important to not debate with the customer, especially in public.  

Ask the customer to delete or amend the review. 

Customers become frustrated when they feel unheard. Do your best to see the problem from their perspective. If you’re able to resolve the conflict, the next course of action is to ask if they would be willing to amend or pull the review. Leaving the bad review can actually work in your favor if the customer amends it with a description of the solution. Authenticity and conflict resolution matters to buyers.  

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