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How to Handle a Bad Customer Review

Nov 21 • Lead Generation, Sales, Social Media • 6177 Views • No Comments on How to Handle a Bad Customer Review • By Tom Morang

We’ve all been there before: we had a bad experience with a company, and we’re angry. In the old days, you might work up the nerve to write a strongly worded letter or even say something in person, but those days are over. Now all we need to do is hop online and leave a nasty comment on a company’s social media page. Unfortunately, as we become more and more connected online, we are become more open and exposed to this kind of criticism publicly.

One day, you will receive a bad review online. Maybe you caught someone on a bad day, or there was some misunderstanding, but you will inspire someone to get online and spew some heated words about you or your brand online. So what are you going to do about?

Slow down there killer, no there is no need to get upset. These things happen to everyone and what sets you apart is how you deal with it. Here are a lists of do’s and don’ts:


1) Address the Issue: You don’t want to leave bad blood with customers, especially if there was a misunderstanding. That person was passionate enough to take time out of their day to write something bad about you. Can you inspire them to do the same but on a positive note?

2) Take the Conversation Offline: Sometimes issues can’t be resolved, plain and simple. Do not let conversations blow up online. The best thing to do when you receive a negative comment is to take the conversation somewhere private. Say something like: “I’m very sorry this happened! What can we do to make it better? Give us a call at 555-555-5555”. Other tips on this note; make sure the number you give leads straight to a real person. Automation services can cause people to become more frustrated with the situation.

3) Address the Incident Internally: Make sure that the Tech or CSR who was responsible for the bad review is aware that their actions have caused an issue. Depending on the issue, use this is as a learning opportunity, not a punishable offense.


1) Argue online: This can lead down a dangerous path of negative PR. A fight online can attract more issues to come up. To read a bit more on this point, check out this video and article from the Huffington Post  for everything you should never do.

2) Delete the Comment (Sometimes): Like many things in life, sweeping the small issues under the rug will lead to larger troubles down the road. Remember that this person was upset enough to take the time out of their day to let you know how much they hate you. At the very least, respect that much dedication with an acknowledgement of the issue, and offer a solution. The exception here, is if there is a high amount of vulgarity in the message. A good step here would be to include on your profile page that comments are moderated and inappropriate comments will be removed.

3) Ignore the Issue: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if someone has had a bad enough experience to report the issue online, you must address the issue. You have been given a prime opportunity to turn a lost customer to a loyal one by setting things right.

Don’t Panic

Don’t worry if one or two negative reviews slip out online. Sending your good customers to leave you reviews online will quickly lessen the value of the negatives and show your company’s strengths. Keep in mind that having customer interactions is one of the reason you’re on social media in the first place. If you have huge problems with customer reviews online, you can always restrict public comments or posting. While a generally acceptable option, this marginalizes the benefits of social media.

Should you have any questions on how best to manage negative comments online, give us a call here at the Service Coach: 978-241-7326.


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Tom Morang

Internet Marketing Manager at The Service Coach
Internet marketing manager by day, podcast producer by night. I am a life long learner of digital technology and internet marketing strategies. I have a passion for craft beers and expanding my knowledge set.

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