Proactively Responding to Negative Online Reviews

Dec 15, 2014

online reviewsIn a small home technology professional company, it can be difficult to handle every aspect of the business. Often one or two people are handling IT, HR, and customer service in addition to maintaining a viable market competitor.

These days, there are numerous sites consumers can visit to let other Internet users know how they feel about a business: Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Angie's List, and more. Occasionally, a customer experience won't go as well as you'd like and someone will leave a negative review on one of these sites.

At first, you're probably upset. You might blame the customer and believe there's nothing you can do. But luckily, that isn't the case. There's no need to leave negative reviews online to sit there for the world to see. You can't get rid of them, but you can be proactive about addressing them.

Keep your cool and respond

If you decide you want to reply to the reviewer, make sure you keep the mood positive and professional – never act negatively in return. When replying to a reviewer, apologize, tell the consumer you appreciate their feedback, that you'd like to fix whatever went wrong and give them a few ways they can contact you privately.

It may be the case that this isn't an issue that can be resolved by further action. In this scenario, if you feel it's important for people viewing the site to understand your side, post a polite reply, but don't offer to work with the reviewer further. If the customer is factually wrong, you can correct the misinformation. But be careful, as many consumers feel the motto "the customer is always right" still applies. Going against the grain may leave a worse impression than the bad review.

Promote your business

Responding to a negative review may be a good time to tell the reviewer and other online readers about your business. If you've been running a successful company for more than 10 years, add that in. For example in the response you can say, "We apologize for the experience you had. We've been installing custom home audio systems for over a decade now and we take it very seriously when a customer walks away less than 100 percent satisfied."

Don't fake reviews

You may be tempted to bolster your online reputation with additional positive reviews, but don't fall into this trap. Sites have become clever at finding fake reviews, and the fake reviews can lead to legal action and fines. Your best course of action is providing your customers great service then asking them to leave a comment online.



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

Become a member!

CEDIA members have access to training, resources, networking, and discounts that help build stronger home technology businesses.


Subscribe to our newsletter for useful tips and valuable resources.