5 tips on how to handle negative customer reviews

Published: November 30, 2017 | Last updated: June 22, 2022
A great online reputation can take 200 good reviews to build, yet only 20 poor reviews to be destroyed.

We understand that, sometimes, a business can go through bad spells, reflected by low reviews.

Whether you’ve been dealing with the pressure of just starting out or going through a financially challenging period, sometimes you, your team and your business may not operate to the standard that it holds itself to.

Believe us. It happens to the best of us and It’s extremely demoralizing, especially when your business has the potential to foster a spectacular online reputation!

The most important thing is that you act immediately, rather than letting it keep you up at night. The immediate goal should be to diminish the harmful effect these reviews are having on how you stand in the public eye. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

We’ve put together an in-depth 10-step guide to cleaning up your bad online reputation. Each step goes into full deal about why the steps are essential, what you need to perform the step and how to execute it best.

The guide is split into two sections:

  1. Managing negative online reviews
  2. Managing negative content across social media channels

We’ve also included a road map how for you to follow when dealing with negative reviews, located in the infogram at the bottom of the article.

1. Managing Negative online reviews

1. Locate every negative review across all platforms (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.).

2. Assess the true impact of these negative reviews to shine some objectivity on whereyour reputation really stands (sometimes, a low aggregate score might not be as harmful).

To learn more about review aggregation and how you can display your average rating customer (from all review platforms) as an individual score in search engines as well as on your website, read more here.

3. Take the reviews on board and note what actions need to be undertaken to address the underlying issues and prevent similar reviews in the future.

4. If you encounter any unnecessarily ill-disposed or potentially fake reviews (learn how to spot them here) coming from other businesses, contact them directly via their website, engage in a friendly manner, and suggest a resolution (where possible) before politely requesting them to be removed.

5. For individual customer complaints, make sure to respond to every negative review. In your response, ensure that you apologise and offer a solution where possible, demonstrating you are committing to improving your business and fostering good relationships with customers.

Managing negative content across social media channels

1. Delete any posts, photos, or videos, or reviews (over six months old) that have fostered any negative comments.

2. Contact the person responsible for any negative review and politely request that they remove their negative posts, comments or other shared content connected to your business. Explain that you have taken the feedback on board and are committed to changing and improving. Briefly describe what actions you intend to implement and offer a solution to the customer where possible. Examples include offering discounts and other incentives. Just make sure to avoid as though you’re appearing to bribe your audience.

3. Untag yourself from posts from other people so they don't appear on your social accounts.

4. Block (or ban) people who might be posting unfairly unflattering content about you. This will prevent them from having the opportunity to post directly on your page, negatively share any of your future content or comment on anything you might post

5. Lock down your pages' privacy settings, helping to limit what others post about you, or tagging you in posts with your permission.

6. Resist cancelling an existing social media account, as it will completely remove any online reputation presence, which can be just as bad a bad repetition. The goal should repetition. The goal should instead be to diminish harmful content and add more positivity.

Want to take control over your reputation? Manage your reviews with ease on ProvenExpert now.

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ProvenExpert is the online platform for qualified customer feedback and review aggregation. A tool that enables business owners and service providers of all sizes to actively seek customer reviews with industry-specific survey templates, bundle existing customer reviews in one location and present the overall score in a way that makes it more effective. Already more than 270,000 entrepreneurs and service providers of all sizes benefit from ProvenExpert.