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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 September 18, 2020

        13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

        “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

        Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

        You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

        Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

        1. Take a step back and evaluate

        When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

        1. What is the problem?
        2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
        3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
        4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
        5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

        Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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        2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

        If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

        At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

        Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

        3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

        Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

        4. Process your thoughts/emotions

        Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

        1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
        2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
        3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
        4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

        5. Acknowledge your thoughts

        Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

        By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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        Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

        6. Give yourself a break

        If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

        7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

        A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

        Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

        After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

        8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

        As Helen Keller once said,

        “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

        Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

        9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

        In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

        1. What’s the situation?
        2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
        3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
        4. Take action on your next steps!

        After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

        10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

        A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

        Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

        For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

        11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

        No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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        12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

        No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

        13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

        There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

        After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

        Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

        Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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