How To Overcome Negative Reviews
Critics have been as long as organizations have existed. From the earliest business to the first stage performance, critics and their resulting bad reviews permeate the landscape.
The best business, show, and leader will always have their share of detractors – you just can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try or how hard you work towards perfection. But the ease to which a person can post a negative review – on review sites, social media, or even a news source trying to tickle an ear with a juicy story – has actually caused people and businesses with the challenge of proper responses.
To avoid being embattled in a legal issue that will tarnish your reputation or alienate future customers – such as the one facing a restaurant in Kent, England – you’ll need to think along the two mind frames of acceptance and engagement that will set you apart as both professional and successful.
Response Mindset 1: Drop The Defensiveness
It’s a given that everyone has an opinion. You must accept that everyone is allowed that opinion whether you believe it or not.
You must approach every review as a chance to learn, grow, and plan to improve. When the intersect of perception versus reality converge, you must factor out your perception and look through the eyes of another person.
Yes, a negative review has the potential to hamper your personal brand or company (as 84% of reviews are deemed valid by the person reading them). But giving a prideful defense towards what might often be valid constructive criticism can take a negative response further than you want to.
If you are truly professional, you’ll discover that valid critiques will yield some of the best opportunities to grow. Ask some other clients or customers if the review has merit – you may be suprised to find others agreeing with it. This will help you understand there blind spot areas you most likely need to work on.
Response Mindset 2: Embrace The Critic
As if the first step isn’t difficult enough in our human nature, the next step is similarly hard but just as vital.
72% of all reviews go unanswered, which means that a majority of critical input is not embraced to win a customer or detractor back. While it’s quite easy to ignore negative feedback, truthfully it’s the wrong thing to do. Unless you reach out to work on a solution or explain what the issue was, the review will not go away, nor will other’s perceptions including the writer.
Always attempt to engage in the critic with an apology, then work to take the dialogue offline for a phone call to understand the concern. If the review was bogus, then your case was stated, but you can leave the person with an assurance that you’ve crossed the chasm to work it out. It it’s valid, you will have a great opportunity to rebuild credibility, trust, and the potential to lock the person in as customer, possibly even long-term.
Don’t be afraid of that negative comment on social media or an online review site. Being held hostage by the fear will make you execute poorly and be defensive as a habit. Instead treat it as if was a live interaction in person and don’t hide behind the cybernetic world of your desktop or device. The bottom line in all of this is to take all input to improve, not to win an argument that you will almost always lose if you handle it poorly.
The whole world will see your response. How you go to market online will tell everyone if the review has credibility or not, but most importantly, it will reveal more about your credibility. Respond wisely and professionally.