Turning a Negative Review Into a Positive

When I hear from clients that a negative review about them has been posted their first reaction is to try and get it taken down. I respond that this is an arduous task, and before we tackle that process, there is an immediate first step to take.

Most review sites allow for comments. I suggest to my clients that they take the opportunity to respond to the comment and that they can often turn a negative review into a positive.

My client has a one-time opportunity to make the situation better. In guiding them on the response I give them the following advice: Be objective and polite in your response. Don’t argue with the poster, rather show them and other readers that you take their concerns seriously. A response like, “I sincerely regret your negative experience. Please contact me directly at (555) 555-5555 so that I may personally research the problem and see if I can rectify the situation.”

By not arguing or being condescending, you are taking the high road and that action shows the readers what kind of person you really are.

Further, readers are often suspicious when every customer review is 5 stars. Having a single negative review with a positive response reveals you are not only human but also committed to your customers.

Once the client has made this attempt to turn the negative review into a positive, we can then work on getting the post taken down. In my experience, a negative review will not be taken down just because the client disagrees with it. It must be defamatory, or so over the top that a reasonable person would find it to be objectionable.

Finally, there is always the situation where the negative review is made by a competitor. If this can be proved, most sites will immediately remove an offending post.