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Blog Post | Dec 06, 2022

How to Turn a Bad Online Review into a Positive Marketing Opportunity

Bad online reviews can be a nightmare for any business. However, they can also provide your company with a great marketing opportunity—but only if you respond the right way. Here's how to turn a negative review into something positive.

Topics: Website

It's every business person's nightmare: you wake up and find that someone has aired a laundry list of grievances in your company's direction. Maybe it's a scathing product review on Amazon; they took to Yelp to complain about your business; or a disgruntled (and anonymous) employee said unflattering things about company leadership on Glassdoor. 

Maybe you feel completely broadsided and are worried since you know 94% of customers admit to avoiding a business because of a bad review. It may not seem like it immediately, but a negative review could provide you with an opportunity. Here's how to take the jabs in stride and come out the better for it.

Don't Ignore Any Bad Review
It can be tempting to ignore the bad review, especially if you already have a devoted customer base. Don't assume your positive reviews will carry more weight and push the shoddy review down the page or search rankings.

According to marketing expert Bree Gotsdiner, sweeping bad reviews under the rug can have lasting consequences. "I often meet with business owners that have had negative reviews that may have siphoned thousands of potential dollars from their business that they never knew about. It is essential that you are aware of your reviews and reputation and are active when responding," she says.

Depending on how frequently your company receives reviews, think of monitoring platforms like Yelp and your Amazon product pages as an extension of your customer service efforts. 

Never Go After the Reviewer
No matter how inflammatory, angry or insulting the review is, never lash out at the reviewer. Not only will you permanently lose them forever, but you'll alienate both active and potential customers. It's hard not to take it personally but keep it “all business.”

Reach Out Quickly to Reconcile
Act quickly. The longer the negative review stays online without a rebuttal, the more potential customers will see it. Respond on the same platform where the review appeared. Stay focused on the issue. Be gracious and solution-oriented. Remember, the world is watching.

Your apology can be as short and simple as: "We value our customers, and we're sorry you were unhappy with your experience. We'll reach out directly to find out how we can make things right."

Move the conversation to one-on-one email: this feels more personal, and you'll avoid spilling all the details in a public forum.

Solve the Issue
In many cases, reviewers aren't expecting a refund or freebie; they  just want to be heard and have their complaints taken seriously. Listen carefully to what they tell you, tell them how you've addressed their issues, and invite them back. Make sure they're satisfied with the resolution. If their experience was positive, they might update their review.

What Can You Learn?
Once the issue is resolved, go back and read the review with an objective eye. Is there anything actionable there? If it's a matter of a product not meeting the customer's expectations, look to see if your descriptions need revisions or if there's any other way to provide customers with information.

Count on Us for Help!
New labels may be in order if you're getting negative feedback because there's a disconnect between customer expectations and reality. Consider us a resource for designing and producing high-quality labels that catch your customers' eyes and accurately depict your product. 

We also have a variety of solutions that can help you provide customers with the best service possible. Starting with interior signage that clearly spells out company policy, employee training materials, and even premiums and swag that help motivate your workers to do their best. Let us help you turn that bad review into something positive and productive for your company!