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Getting your first negative review feels a bit like having an unexpected fall—it takes you by surprise, stings pretty bad and takes a hot minute for (our egos, in this case) to heal. And though garnering negative reviews of any kind are never the desired outcome, how you respond to them could steer you in a more positive direction and might even change the mind of the unhappy client in question.

First, if a mistake has been made on your business' part, you must acknowledge it.

Ignoring valid criticism is never a good look and makes you appear dismissive and difficult to work with, especially on a public platform online. Even if you're not at fault, you should never ignore an unsatisfied customer. Don't forget to do the obvious: APOLOGIZE.

When you do respond, don't get defensive.

We get it, it can burn a little when someone offers criticism. However, that's no excuse to go in firing on all cylinders. Take a breath, assess what the problem is, think carefully about potential solutions, then begin crafting your response. Staying calm, cool and collected is always the way to go.

Offer the client an opportunity to speak one-on-one or offline.

Many people leave reviews or submit complaints not always thinking they'll get an actual response in return. Showing you're willing to spend the time to further hear an unsatisfied client out and explain what happened not only demonstrates you care, it could also provide you with insight as to what you could do to improve your future operations.

Wherever you end up, make it right.

Whether you're able to offer a refund, alternative option or simply an apology, you should be able to offer your client some sort of resolution to their problem or complaint. If an issue is left unresolved, you risk your reputation being damaged and ultimately losing business. Don't be that person.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.

 

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