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Grace from Georgia writes. “Hi, Marie, my mom ran across your website.” Did she really? Kidding. “My mom ran across the website.”
Here’s my cue. How do you deal, when haters have written negative reviews about your company? While most of my clients have been happy and written positive reviews, there’s a few nasty ones out there on the internet that bug me and can still be found through the Google.
Of course, I’ve learned from the bad reviews and I’m ready to launch a new product, but I’m paralyzed with fear that many people will throw the old reviews back in my face. The fear is stopping me from wanting to try again, which I hate, because I know there are still so many more people I could help.
How do you handle the haters who haunt you when trying to move forward? Grace, great question. Negative reviews can be really painful and let’s face it, no company or business is perfect. So this is something that potentially all of us have to deal with at some point or another.
One thing my dear, I noticed that you refer to people who leave negative reviews as haters, but you know what, criticism isn’t just from haters. It could be from someone who bought a product from you who had really high expectations that weren’t met. You want to take that as legitimate feedback, that stuff is gold girl.
What it really is, is an opportunity to learn how you can improve your business. And depending on how you respond, it’s an opportunity to show people what you’re made of. As you know, you can’t erase negative reviews from the internet, but what you can do is handle the criticism with a very smart strategy.
And guess what girl, you can even make negative reviews, good for business. Here are three steps to take, to deal with negative reviews. Step number one, thank the reviewer and apologize, kickoff your response by thanking them for taking the time to offer feedback and genuinely apologize.
If you don’t know how to genuinely apologize. And most people don’t, you can check out this video over here, because we covered it. Take responsibility for your mistake and do not be defensive. This is about owning up to it and letting the reviewer know that they’ve been heard.
For example, on a popular site like TripAdvisor, you’ll often see a negative review followed up by a response from the hotel saying something like this, “Thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay with us. We acknowledge that problem and sincerely apologize.”
Whenever you have the opportunity to comment back, do it because whoever’s going to see the negative review will also see your thoughtful response. And, this is very important, do not criticize them for criticizing you. You want to always take the high road.
Step number two, is you need to explain exactly what you’re doing to fix that problem. You can mention things like new policies, new technology, or additions to your staff. The point here is to give specific details on the issues mentioned and tell them what you’re doing to ensure this never happens again.
Step number three, and this is the most important, you need to make it right. Let the reviewer know that you are committed to making this right. Give them an email address or a phone number and invite them to contact you offline. Understand that making it right can mean giving a full refund or giving them an opportunity to experience your product or your service again on the house.
Once you’ve taken all these steps, you need to refocus your energy on providing outstanding products and services. Grace from Georgia, that was my A to your Q, hope it helps. And most importantly, get your butt back out there.
Now I’d love to hear your feedback about negative reviews, whether you’ve responded to comments about your business or you’ve had issues with somebody else’s business. Let me know all the juice in the comments below.
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I’m a winner. Nailed it.