It’s always disconcerting when your company receives an online review that is negative. It’s essential to deal with these because they can potentially damage your reputation and drive away customers. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with negative reviews efficiently and professionally.

Never Respond in Anger

Even if the negative online reviews you receive are incorrect and not justified, it is always a mistake to respond defensively and lash out in anger. You’ll frighten away other potential clients, who will interpret an angry response as an admission that the reviews are accurate. Instead, if reviews upset you, take the time to calm down before you respond. If necessary, assign a level-headed employee to handle them.

Consider Your Options Before Taking Action

There are several possible actions you can take when faced with negative reviews. For instance, if a review is xenophobic, racist, profanity-filled, or obviously violates the review site terms in some other way, simply report it to site administration for removal. If a review is obviously irrational and nonsensical, it’s often best to ignore it; reasonable people will see through it and dismiss it. However, if a customer’s negative online review is legitimate and well-reasoned, you should respond.

Remedy the Situation

Replying publicly to negative reviews not only repairs the professional relationship with the customers who wrote them but also lets others who read the reviews know that you consider their feedback valuable. When you respond, acknowledge the dissatisfaction the customer has experienced whether you agree with their reasoning or not. Apologize that their experience with your company was less than superlative. Resolve the situation by explaining that you are repairing the problem, and perhaps offer a discount or reward. If there are still unresolved issues, have the customer reach out to you privately.

Investigate Employee Behavior

Negative online reviews that point out instances in which your employees behaved unprofessionally should be investigated. If there has been actual wrongdoing, correct your staff, and educate them on the proper way to deal with customers.