Life after a bad review: 5 Tips on handling a bad review

Doesn’t it feel as though our entire world revolves around personal opinions about…well…everything???

Now more than ever, online reviews and comments are swirling around us and affecting our businesses and confidence in every way. Of course, we love all the compliments people send our way, but not every review is a good review.

Some of those terrible reviews can shake us to our core!

Whether it’s just a comment on Instagram or a through & through bad review on a wedding site, these words can be painful.

It’s someone’s personal work or pride and joy that’s getting the negativity  and it’s not always valid judgment and as we know in the wedding world, there’s ALWAYS more to the story.  

Right or wrong, those words live there in internet-land and can change the future of small and local businesses. In the review world, it all comes down to perception.

If a past client is complaining, the first thing to do is to contact that client and talk it out (if you can). Sometimes, vendors don’t even find out a Bride or client is unhappy until the bad review appears!

If the reviewer is anonymous or the situation is beyond repair and you can’t get them to take the review down or edit it, write a response to the review.

Most sites, like Wedding Wire or Google, allow you to respond directly to their review. This is your opportunity to change the perception of the future client. Writing your response directly back to the reviewer won’t change anything-they’ve already put their final thoughts out there for the world to see.

Don’t let any hurt feelings come through your words and definitely don’t accuse or argue. Often, you can keep it short and simple, you don’t need to explain the whole situation and create more drama.

Simply compose it in such a way that future clients will know that:

  1. You apologize that the client didn’t view their experience with you/your business as positive
  2. you’re human and though you’re awesome 99.5% of the time, you made an error this one time
  3.  you attempted to do everything in your power to fix it
  4. you would love an opportunity to repair the situation
  5. you’ll use it as an opportunity to grow and create even better experiences for future clients

Before you hit ‘send’, go over your response. Make sure you come across professional and that you’re owning the situation. Read it to a friend or colleague and make sure only positivity exists in your response. Remember, just say no to the drama.

Keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world to have a few bad reviews, especially when you have tons of great reviews. It keeps things real and clients appreciate authenticity. A business with only good reviews somehow triggers the thought that maybe not all the reviews are real.

HOWEVER. If you notice more bad reviews or mediocre reviews when you usually only get raving happy love notes-then it’s time to do some reflecting and research what’s going on in your client experience that needs some serious improvement.

I always advise that a bad review is a good opportunity to just double check what’s going on with your business…you never know, maybe there’s something you’re unaware of going on in your business that’s making customers notice things aren’t up to par.