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How to Handle Negative Customer Reviews Online

No one likes to receive to receive harsh criticism, especially not from strangers. Unfortunately, the anonymous nature of the internet means that people are more willing to be vicious. Whether you run a business or are selling items, you need to be prepared for negative reviews.

1. Separate the Bad From the Good

You might think that it’s all bad, but there are certainly negative customer reviews that are worth considering. However, there are also ones that are just meant to rile you up. These are ones that will be full of profanity and incoherent rants. You can ignore these, as the person writing them clearly wasn’t mature enough to express their concerns in an adult-like manner. When you see a well-constructed list of complaints, take the time to consider it. You might not agree with all of it, but it definitely should be looked over.

2. Respond

It’s normal to feel a bit heated after receiving criticism, even if it’s justified. After reading these criticisms, you should first find something else to distract you, such as taking a walk or listening to relaxing music. You want to give yourself some distance between your thoughts and your feelings. Then, look back at the criticisms that you deemed valid. Craft a response to each of them that shows respect and a willingness to improve. You could engage the other person in a dialogue, or you could tell them about how you’ve decided to change a certain policy based on a negative experience. Remember: you don’t have to completely change your whole business plan because of one complaint, but if something feels necessary, you should do so.

3. Figure Out a Plan

You can’t just apologize for something and then not do anything. You need to make sure you have a plan in place to prevent certain complaints from rising up again. If many people have a similar grievance, then you can’t shrug your shoulders and move on. Instead, you need to brainstorm to think about why this is such a problem for so many people and what you can do to remedy it. Don’t delay in this. If you take too long, negative word of mouth about your business could spread rapidly and hurt you financially.

4. Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Forget that the criticism is directed towards you. Imagine that you’re this person who had a negative experience. Would you find what happened to be irritating and worthy of complaint? You shouldn’t take these experiences personally, as the person complaining doesn’t want to make you feel bad. They just want to express their concerns in full.

5. Don’t Dwell on the Negative

Just because you stub one of your toes doesn’t mean that all of your toes are in pain. Similarly, just because you receive one (or two) negative reviews doesn’t mean that everyone is out for blood. You should consider just how many of your reviews are actually negative. You might be surprised to find that the overwhelming majority are positive. Now, this doesn’t mean you should use the positive reviews as an excuse to discount the negative ones. However, you should breathe a sigh of relief to know that you’re doing more right than wrong.

When you take the time to process negative customer reviews in a mature manner, you win. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take any criticisms to heart, of course. However, it does mean that you are able to distance yourself from the criticism and remember what’s important. By following these tips, you can make sure that negative reviews don’t get the best of you.

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