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3 Steps You Can Take to Deal with Negative Reviews

Prepare for a really honest moment, my friend: Anyone with an online presence is likely to get negative reviews. Maybe once, maybe twice, maybe a gajillion times. 

And I’m going to say this: some online reviews… 

…are absolute bull feathers. 

(My heck! If you don’t believe me, Google the negative reviews left for national parks and I’m pretty sure that you’ll laugh your head off…or just shake your head a lot. Probably both.)

There are times that someone leaves a negative review online review because they really, truly had a bad experience that relates to a product or service. I don’t want to take ANYTHING away from those folks. 

But…I mean, people will leave a negative, sometimes nasty one-star review for: 

…restaurants they’ve never eaten at.

…stores they’ve never shopped at.

…products they’ve never purchased.

…conversations they’ve never had.

OR for getting a product that didn’t fit, wasn’t the color they thought it was, didn’t match their décor or for pretty dang much anything else—even when the product is described, photographed or videoed IN DETAIL.

Sigh…I have ZERO idea why they do it. Nevertheless, you’ve got to prepare to deal with negative reviews. 

In fact, I’m on a quest to normalize negative reviews.

Here’s why: 

Because so many online business owners internalize every single word, no matter HOW silly those reviews might be. 

In other words, they remember and think about and dwell on these negative reviews to the point that it’s hard for them to move past it.

I know that it’s true because I’ve done it. I’ve let myself get wrapped up in the unkind words that someone I’ve never known or would never meet wrote about me or my products. And I don’t want anyone else (aka YOU) to let Negative Nelly nonsense to get them down.

3 Ways to Deal with Negative Reviews

As ecommerce entrepreneurs, we always hope for a good review. But when a negative online review does appear, here are 3 ideas that I think could help you:

  1. Hit the delete button. If you 100%, no questions asked, absolutely KNOW that a review is spammy (i.e., it has nothing to do with your product), delete it. It may mean working with the online review company—which can be challenging—but it can be done. 
  2. Address them appropriately.  This is how I’ve dealt with the MAJORITY of negative reviews. I acknowledge their concern (please note that acknowledging is not agreeing with!), express appreciation for them taking the time to leave the review, and note I use feedback to improve my products too. I’ve also used my responses to negative reviews to give a heads-up to future purchasers to note images or sizing. (Psst!!!! People can tell when a review is mean-spirited or silly. Your response provides a chance to show what a great seller and communicator you are.) 
  3. Avoid a public battle. As much as you’d like to open up a can of you-know-what, try to keep the urge under control. Instead, kindly encourage unhappy buyers to reach out to you via email, live chat, or DM.  This moves any negativity away from other customers who may see it AND gives you a chance to resolve the matter through quality communication.  

Most importantly, never, never, NEVER, NEV-AH give the folks who leave negative reviews the satisfaction of hurting your feelings or shaking your confidence. They DO NOT deserve to have that kind of power over you. 

Negative Reviews in My 0-100K Facebook Group

I  asked members in my private Facebook group to share their own funny negative reviews before I recorded this podcast. The posts they shared were great—and what else was awesome is that everyone in the group saw that: 

A – negative reviews are normal; and 

B – they don’t have to tear you down.  

I share those reviews in this episode of my podcast, so you’ll want to give it a listen. 

Plus, I also share 3 things you can do when LEAVING a review of a product or service you’ve purchased. And be sure to let me know what you think by leaving a review of this episode. (Fingers crossed it’s a positive one!)

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