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Seven Smart Ways to Turn Bad Reviews Around

When you sell great products or provide important services, it can throw you for a loop when you get a negative review. Even when the overwhelming majority of your reviews are highly positive—4 stars! Bravo! Best ever!—just one word of criticism can really sting. Part of that has to do with the way our brains are wired. We notice negative input more quickly than positive input and we also spend more time processing it. This “negativity bias” alerted early humans to danger. Today’s humans have had to learn to accentuate the positive. That’s why your best response to a negative review is to take positive action. Here are seven smart ways to turn bad reviews around and to attract many more positive reviews: 1. Make like Santa and check it twice. The first time you read a negative comment, you mostly notice how it makes you feel. Wait until you’ve calmed down and read it again. You may find that it’s not as harsh as you thought, but in fact offers constructive points. Valid criticism is valuable criticism—hard to read, perhaps, but ultimately helpful. 2. Treat a negative as a positive. Welcome the opportunity to show your customers that your company takes the time to address their concerns and earn their satisfaction. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention” or similar is a good example of how to begin your response.

3. Dare to care. Be sincere, not defensive. The most carefully articulated excuse in the world can’t compare to a few words of genuine empathy. Put yourself in the customer’s place and ask yourself honestly how you would feel. Write the kind of thoughtful response that you’d want to receive. 4. Be real—even when bad reviews are fake. Negative fake reviews aimed at competitors are frustrating. But don’t play detective. Leave that to regulators, who are using high-tech software to crack down on such fraudsters. Instead, respond courteously, out of respect for your customers. If the review describes an incident that

you know never happened, simply invite the reviewer to contact you and then reiterate your commitment to offering the highest standards of customer service. 5. Trust your customers. When obviously fake, mean-spirited, or over-the-top reviews pop up, take heart: honest consumers are also getting savvier. Most people value good manners and fair play just as much as you do. Give your customers a little credit for spotting the difference between legitimate criticism and an unreasonable rant. You should still respond to each reviewer politely. But make sure to keep a sense of proportion and your customers will, too. 6. Dwell on the positive. When you get a good customer review, savor it, say thanks, and attract more. If customers tell you they like your business, invite them to share such feedback with other customers. Give your customers lots of easy ways to leave feedback and share positive responses. Thank customers who write particularly informative positive reviews that are helpful to other customers.

Monitor, share, and share again. ReviewInc makes it easy for businesses to monitor, collect and share customer reviews from their customers. We use a unique review management system to track online reviews across over 180 different review sites in real-time. Our automated review monitoring services follow up with reviewers to facilitate easier and more widespread posting of authentic reviews by real people. For more information visit us at or call us at 877-973-8439.

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