Learn From Your Customers

4 Of the worst ways to respond to negative feedback

Thursday, 19 December 2019
4 Of the worst ways to respond to negative feedback

Many of us don’t like negative feedback, but it can hurt to know we’re not hitting the mark.

Do you know what’s the best reaction to negative feedback? Taking criticism on the chin and making measureable, open improvements.

That’s where online reviews shine - even the ‘bad’ ones are actually pretty cool if you can show you’re changing.

But fighting your customers? Bad idea. Here are just a few examples where review responses went wrong...

1 - The not so good read

We all have opinions and personal tastes. So if you’re an author, musician, artist, or whoever, you’ve got to learn pretty quickly that you cannot please everyone. And that’s fine. But not if you’re the author of this book.

Rather than take a somewhat blunt negative review on the chin, an argument over the merits of the critique ensued. Some 927 comments later, a mutated insult forum developed (by this point with little input of the author, Dylan) and the author’s profile has since been removed from Goodreads.

Lesson? Everyone has opinions. Don’t go out and claim the views of others are wrong.

2 - The “I’m better than you” rage post

Small business is a tough game. Budgets are typically low, staffing starts at a minimum, and there just aren’t resources for big-budget marketing from the off. But thanks to social media, you can still make an impact and generate a following. Sometimes that’s not always for the better though. So launching an attack on your small yet loyal following is not advised. Here’s how one baking company messed it up.

Remember: stop, breathe, engage brain, then respond.

3 - The review with a sour taste

When this amateur food critic wrote a negative review of a restaurant run by a famous chef, he didn’t expect it to quite take off as it did. The author was dissatisfied with the meal and, rather than feel bad giving criticism in the restaurant, he went online to write a negative review. Keyboard warriors who hurl abuse online cannot be excused, but this reviewer is well within his rights to write a review however he sees fit.

That’s not how the owner saw it and, as the exchange shows, publicly shaming a critic is not the nicest move.

4 - The insult to customers story

A tearoom in the Peak District of North England was branded the worst in the country - a bit of a dramatic label, we agree. However, rather than address the complaints, the owner went to the national press to call his customers “moaning prats”. Yup, he went there.

There’s also this explicit exchange between a New York deli and their customers, which includes calling the customers “idiots”. You know the phrase ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’? Yeah, that. But it’s not all doom and gloom

Collect reviews, respond to them in a timely and effective manner, and there’s no need to fear customers at all.

We know you can do a much better job. So why not open up those customer conversations today? Reviews could be exactly what you need to take your business to the next level.

Download a free copy of Trustpilot's Bad Reviews report here, and learn how you can turn negative feedback into an opporunity to grow and improve as a business.


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