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15 Ways to Turn Negative Reviews Into Positive Results

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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 July 20, 2021

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

        Warming up

        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

        Stay hydrated

        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

        Meditate

        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

        2. Focus on your goal

        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

        3. Convert negativity to positivity

        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

        4. Understand your content

        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

        5. Practice makes perfect

        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

        6. Be authentic

        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

        7. Post speech evaluation

        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

        Improve your next speech

        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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        • How did I do?
        • Are there any areas for improvement?
        • Did I sound or look stressed?
        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
        • Was I saying “um” too often?
        • How was the flow of the speech?

        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

        Reference

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