How to respond to bad reviews

Have you ever asked yourself, how to respond to bad reviews?
The moment you manage to make your business more visible than ever, you will end up realizing that while the new level of exposure makes you more likely to receive those positive reviews that make a business thrive, you also become more likely to have to deal with bad reviews.
No matter if those reviews are published on Yelp, Google Places or Citysearch, you should definitely not ignore them. In the past, that was the first thing that business owners thought about because they didn’t want to sound defensive.
Nowadays, things have changed because responding to bad reviews has started to seem necessary from various points of view. First of all, by not ignoring bad reviews, you will be able to prevent them from virally spreading online. In addition, by taking the time to provide a wise response, you will show your customers that customer feedback is important to you. Not to mention that you will prove a negative review is not enough to make you give up on your customers, not even when they are unhappy. As a result, you will appear to be a professional.
There are even studies that prove responding to bad reviews is a good idea. One conducted by The Retail Consumer Report has shown that from the 68 percent of consumers who decided to post such a negative review in 2011 and received a response, 30 percent ended up deleting that review and even replacing it with a positive one.
That means responding to bad reviews definitely works.
However, you shouldn’t always respond and definitely not in any way. It usually pays off to provide a response when you’ve made a mistake that you want to correct, when you notice that the one writing the review is telling only lies, when you realize that the person who wrote the review is a person with connections that can keep popularizing that bad review on the internet and when the negative review you are dealing with seems easy to turn into a positive review because it’s related to a minor problem, easy to solve.
While in all these cases it’s wise to provide a response, you shouldn’t expect a positive reaction in each and every case. On the other hand, the list of cases when you should not respond includes the situations when you are dealing with a chronic complainer or a person that will say anything to give birth to a controversy and when you are too angry with the reviewer so you can’t think straight.
What you should also keep in mind is that when you finally decide to respond to such a bad review you should always have in mind a few important steps. The main idea is that your response’s first phrase should always be an apology while the following phrases should focus on explaining the facts and providing solutions. In the end, you should thank the person in question for his/her business and promise that your services/products will only become better as time passes.
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