Today we’re talking all about bad online reviews, because let’s face it, if you’re running any type of business, you’re not going to be able to please everybody every time.

Between that, miscommunication, and online trollers… bad reviews happen to even the best companies.

We all harp on the negative

We all do it, we hear 30 compliments on our hairstyle, but just one bad comment has us making an appointment at the salon.

That’s humans for ya.

Your business reviews most likely affect you the same exact way.

We’re here to tell you: don’t let them.

It’s just too easy to turn those negatives into positives, and we’re going to show you how.

Your bad review doesn’t mean your company sucks

Your bad review doesn’t mean your company sucks

We all know we can’t please everyone all the time, that’s common sense. So, don’t be surprised to hear that someone wasn’t happy with something your business provided.

You can’t take it personally. Just because one customer had a bad experience, doesn’t mean you need to shut down shop.

Maybe the problem was your fault, or maybe your customer would have been dissatisfied no matter what happened, it’s not for you to overthink. But it’s up to you to make it right.

Let’s turn your thought-process around and show you how bad reviews can not only be good for business, but also provide insight while showing everyone just how proactive and customer-savvy you are.

Bad + good = truth

Ask yourself if you’d believe that a product or service received only glowing, 5-star reviews without a single bad review in sight.

Would you believe it? Or would something scream fishy.

We call fishy.

Showing the bad reviews keeps you honest and everyone wants to work with integrity-oriented companies.

It also highlights all those good reviews. 

And when you answer a bad review, that review can quickly turn out to be positive.

Accept the bad reviews as a learning moment and work with the customer to see if you can help change their position.

And, hey, if you can’t, you can’t.  Some people won’t budge no matter what you do, and that’s not on you.

Your reviews, both good and bad, tell the story about your product or service, and about you as a company.

So, let the people tell that story and you do whatever you need to do in order to keep the story happy.

keep it real

Keeping it real

Disappointment is the number one word used in negative reviews.

No one wants to order a size S shirt that fits like a size L.

Your reviews can help with that, and your customers want to hear it.

Feedback is critical to your company’s success and many times the negative reviews enlighten the next customer to make a wiser move, while still using your services or your product.

Your bad reviews can actually assist in customer satisfaction in the long run.

However, it’s important that you too take something away from the review.

Let’s just keep it real…

If you have a clothing company and your reviews are telling you that the sizes aren’t fitting into normal size chart guidelines, create your own size chart, or find a way for YOU to tell your customers that the sizing may not be what they’re used to.

There’s no such thing as bad press

Within reason, this is very true.

Sometimes bad reviews can cause quite the stir, and that means people are hearing about you, talking about you, checking out your website, reading other reviews about you- the list goes on.

Not a bad thing, so embrace it as you fix it.

And maybe even have some fun with it.

A sense of humor goes a long way, so where appropriate, show them you can laugh at yourself.

Maybe you sent an order to a customer who received an empty box.

Yowza.  Imagine that review for a sec.

Why not send them a few more complimentary empty boxes that they can use to wrap their presents in the future- don’t forget to send them their actual purchase this time though.


Have you heard the one about the ski resort? (you’re going to love it)

Quick backstory: Snowbird is a resort in Utah known for its difficult slopes. After a guy named Greg from L.A. gave them a 1-star review because the mountain was mean to him, they created a print advertisement starring his review.

And, it’s fantastic…

Snowbird is a resort in Utah

Image Source:

Here’s what the team had to say about it:

“In our initial campaign concept meeting, we came to the consensus that we needed to embrace the unique aspects of what makes Snowbird special and be true to the product we sell,” Amirault said.

“We’re known for our steep terrain, long runs and deep snow.

For beginner skiers and snowboarders, they often find this to be a challenge. However, for our core guest, it’s what makes them come back year after year.”

Bars and restaurants have been turning negative Yelp reviews into everything from hot-selling T-shirts to dramatic monologues and people can’t get enough of it!

I mean, we all love to laugh, right?

When (and only when) it fits your target audience… we say embrace those bad reviews.

Here’s the deal

If we break it down for you, dealing with a bad review happens in just a few easy steps:

  • A freak out won’t help, so don’t. The bad review can be good for business
  • Honesty is key – show all those reviews, the good, the bad, and the ugly and you’ll get customers that believe in you and your product/service
  • Respond to all reviews, especially the bad, and make sure the world witnesses that response (do this quickly and don’t be defensive here, be accommodating and apologetic and show empathy)
  • Take something away from the review, they’re here to help you so let the negativity teach you how to make some positivity
  • Follow up after you feel the issue has been resolved, happy customers come back so you want the last feeling they have to be on a positive note

The fake reviewThe fake review

Fake reviews are alive and well and living among us.

Unfortunately, your business may be targeted.

It could be a competitor or a troll, but no matter who it is, stay calm and handle it the same way you would handle any other review.

After your public apology, ask to take things offline with a phone call or an email conversation, if the reviewer doesn’t want to do this, you may be dealing with a fake.

Other signs of a fake negative review are:

  • Extremely aggressive words
  • Same reviewer leaving excessively positive reviews on your competitor’s site
  • Vague, nondescript accusations

While you, personally, can’t get rid of your negative reviews, no matter what any company says to you- the reviewer is the only person that can take down a review, getting rid of a fake review is much more manageable and we suggest doing it.

Fake reviews are frustrating and inconvenient, but as long as you handle the situation respectfully, you’ll be seen as a hero by many customers and that’s your main objective.


Positivity reigns

A really great way to combat negative reviews is to get good ones.

Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you get too wrapped up in the bad, you can easily forget about the importance of the good.

Getting awesome online reviews isn’t too hard these days.

Have a good product, good service, good customer relationships and all you really have to do is ask.


From bad to good

Don’t think for a second that you’ll be able to turn all the bad reviews around, you’re dealing with many different people with many different personalities and frankly, not everyone is gonna love you.

All you can do is try to make the best out of a bad situation and in doing so, if done correctly and with sincerity, you’ll get higher customer loyalty when you fix a customer’s problem- whether with the unsatisfied customer, or those customers who witness how awesomely you handled that customer.

The doom and gloom of the bad review shall have a silver lining.


Check out >> How to gain more positive reviews online

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