Everyone’s initial reaction to a negative online review is a mixture of panic, dread and anger. But once that passes, what if we saw a bad review as an opportunity to improve? And maybe even turn the reviewer into a fan? We know online reviews are powerful, so how do we handle it when things go south?

While the reviewer may be fired up in the moment they write the review, chances are, they’re not out to harm your business. They likely want to express themselves because they truly feel wronged, want to bring something to your attention or want to alert other customers of an issue. When you look at it through this lens, you can remove the emotion and seize the opportunity.

So Now What?

When responding to the review, it’s important to do it quickly. You’ll show the reviewer that you take their comment seriously, and others who can view the review and response will see it, too.

It’s important to remember: You’re speaking to everyone who will read the review, and that includes potential customers. In fact, 89% of consumers who read reviews will take the time to read the response, as well.

And while now is not the time for a marketing pitch, it’s also a good opportunity to explain how your business strives to excel.

Provide a little bit of insight into who you are as a company:

  • “We’re normally known for our speedy and accurate service, so we hate that we let you down.”
  • “Our company strives to deliver top-notch customer service so we regret that we missed the mark.”

Be open, honest and as transparent and as authentic as possible. That, plus taking the steps to fix the problem, are the key to turning upset customers into long-term fans.

Want to learn more? Discover how Thryv can help you stay on top of reviews, respond quickly and generate tons of positive reviews.