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15 Ways to Turn Negative Reviews Into Positive Results

15 Ways to Turn Negative Reviews Into Positive Results

So, you’ve gotten a terrible review from a disgruntled customer and are scared of the repercussions.  Now what?

Thanks to social media and open review sites such a Yelp, Trip Adviser, or even retail platforms such as Amazon, it’s easy for business owners to fear the effects of a negative review. Negative reviews can be a strong deterrent for new costumers, even more so when a negative review manages to amass a large amount of unwanted attention.  Not all hope is lost, though.

Take for example the case of sugar free Haribo gummy bears.  The sugar substitute of choice has given more than one costumer serious digestive issues. Here are some of the most terrifying Amazon reviews we’ve ever seen:

Bad Testimonial

    Despite the more than 200 horror stories and mentions of chaos in important publications such as Business Insider, Haribo’s Sugar Free “Hellbears” have managed to maintain a solid rating of three stars on Amazon.

     

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    Horrible Testimonial

      and

      The Worst Testimonial

         

        This product has effectively turned its negative feedback into astonishingly positive results and we know how.

        Here are 15 ways to turn negative reviews into positive results.

        1. Prevention is key (think ahead)

        Whether you are selling a product or offering a service, it is important to provide your customers with as much information as possible. Many negative reviews are the result of lack of information in a customer’s part and could have easily been avoided if information were easily available. How were Haribo’s customers to know about the digestive effects of lycasin in their gummy bears? What is lycasin to begin with?

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        2. Know it is impossible to please everyone.

        Haribo’s gummy bears carry a label warning users about digestive discomfort. Still, many customers left negative reviews and this can happen to anyone. The fact of the matter is this: likes, dislikes, and the accompanying opinions are subjective. No matter how much information you provide or how smoothly you operate, someone will be unhappy. Just do your best.

        3. Do not panic.

        Take a deep breath; negative feedback is a part of life.  Relax and remember it’s not the end of the world. Nothing great was built in one day and success involves a few bumps on the road.

        4. Focus on your goals.

        What are you trying to provide? Whether it’s sugar free candy or tech support, it is important to stay true to your objectives as both a business and an individual. When receiving negative reviews, the urge to micromanage or enact drastic changes can be self-destructive. Isolate the issues at hand, but do not allow them to consume you and skew your ideals.

        5. Do your research.

        Before you reply to the negative review in question, do your research.  Read it, circulate it around the company, and ask questions. Try to think of the circumstances and reasons this review was given in order to prepare a response.

        6.  Give a timely response.

        Timing is key. The faster a negative review is addressed, the more manageable the discussion.  Make information available, clear up any possible misunderstandings, and reply to any initial inquiries. A negative review can quickly be turned around with a quick response. Effective customer service shows professionalism and integrity.

        7. Listen to understand.

        Some customer reviews are more manageable than others and some clients are more willing to cooperate than others. After establishing initial contact, do not be alarmed if the response is not as warm as you expected. Simply listen, do not judge and most importantly do not ignore the client’s needs. Ignoring a negative review does not make it go away; it only makes things worse.

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        8. Ask, ask, ask.

        This is where the learning experience begins. Ask open-ended questions such as, “What would you like us to do?” or “Why do you think _____ did not work for you?” Asking for specifics will help you understand the feedback clearly.

        9. Take Responsibility.

        You’ve kept your goals in mind, provided customers with information and listened attentively. While trying to clear up any misunderstanding or trying to understand what caused the negative review, it is important that you are accountable for your thoughts and actions.  Don’t look for excuses, and don’t be afraid to admit you are at fault.  The more accountable you are for your thoughts and actions, the more credible you are. and the more likely people will want to do business with you in the future.

        10. Remember loyal customers are responsive.

        Customers who bought the cursed gummy bears did so under the promise that despite being sugar free, taste and quality would not be compromised. These were loyal customers who received a shock and openly voiced their opinion. It is the same for every other business. If a client has taken time out of their busy schedules to leave a negative review, chances are this customer is in that situation. Turn a negative review into a positive by reminding them what it is that made them choose you in the first place.

        11. Solve the problem.

        It’s as simple as that. When a grievance is legitimate, all you have to do is solve the problem. Upgrade shipping, skip to the front of the line, and send a new product. You’ve heard the grievance; now fix it.

        12. Learn from the process.

        It is difficult to keep track of everything. Negative reviews help business owners spot the few missing links in their system. This is one of the greatest things about negative feedback. Pay attention, make the necessary changes and use it as a chance to improve. Clients will notice and will appreciate an enterprise that is willing to adapt to their needs.  Acknowledge the changes you’ve made and how you got there. With negative feedback comes great progress.

        13. Be appreciative.

        The bottom line is that by leaving a negative review, the client is doing you a favor. You are being given a chance to improve, and you’re being shown a weak point and a chance to excel at customer service, whether or not the review is justified. Letting someone know they’ve forced you to make changes can go a long way in cementing long-term support for you and your company

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        14. Find the silver lining.

        Imagine a world without negative feedback. You would have no way of knowing how to improve and a complete lack of clientele interaction. No matter how terrible a review, or how difficult the customer, think of the rewards that come with staying positive. Sometimes merely accepting your shortcomings and doing the best with what you have is enough. Sure, this isn’t the type of candy you can pass out during Halloween, but it’s definitely a great alternative to mineral oil for a parent with a stubborn child. Get creative!

        15. Treat yourself.

        Hearing negative feedback or getting a bad review can be stressful. Once the issue has been dealt with and you and your team have turned it into a learning experience, treat yourselves. Plan something small to help not only your morale, but also that of your team. Turn negative feedback and crisis management into a positive so that in the future you’ll be able to reap even more positive results.

        Bree Gotsdiner the Founder of Publicly Related and a professor at the University of Central Florida recently authored a book on reputation management (Sex, Lies and Your Reputation). When we asked “What is the most important thing a small business should do to remain aware of their online reputation?” she mentioned “Tracking is the most important factor for your online reputation. 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.

        Have you ever left a negative review? If so, how do you feel the business handled it?

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        Joel Goldstein

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        Last Updated on January 24, 2021

        How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

        How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

        Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

        For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

        But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

        It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

        And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

        The Importance of Saying No

        When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

        In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

        Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

        Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

        Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

        “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

        When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

        How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

        It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

        From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

        We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

        And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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        At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

        The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

        How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

        Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

        But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

        3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

        1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

        Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

        If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

        2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

        When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

        Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

        3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

        When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

        6 Ways to Start Saying No

        Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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        1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

        One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

        Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

        2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

        Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

        Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

        3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

        Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

        Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

        You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

        4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

        Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

        Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

        5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

        When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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        How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

          Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

          Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

          6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

          If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

          Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

          Final Thoughts

          Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

          Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

          Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

          More Tips on How to Say No

          Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
          [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
          [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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