Reputation Management 101: How to handle negative reviews

Consumers often rely on the reviews of others when deciding whether to use a business. If you were looking for a new pool cleaning service, you would probably not call the company that had negative reviews saying that they were unreliable and had horrible customer service. No one wants bad service.

Negative reviews happen and can be especially damaging to a smaller business. The good news about bad reviews is that you can minimize their effect if handled correctly.

Building trust and establishing quality relationships is vital in today’s digital world. At Wild Coffee Marketing, we know a thing or two about reputation management.  While there are several approaches to handling negative reviews, we’ve found a very simple and easy-to-remember method.


H: Hear. Shush. It’s time to listen. Let your customer talk without interruption.

E: Empathize. Make sure you let your customer know you understand how they feel.

A: Apologize. This might be hard to do, even if you were not the one directly involved with the issue, but it’s important to make a sincere apology.

R: Resolve. Get the issue resolved quickly and ask the customer how you can make it right for them.

D: Diagnose. Get to the bottom of why the issue occurred in the first place and make sure to fix protocol so it doesn’t happen again.

HEARD was created by our fellow marketing gurus at who share the same passion we have for helping small businesses amp up there business. It’s a great customer service technique when dealing with negative reviews. Remember to always let them be HEARD!

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