Learn From Your Customers

4 Of the worst ways to respond to negative feedback

Thursday, 10 December 2020
4 Of the worst ways to respond to negative feedback

Many of us don’t like negative feedback, but do you know what the best reaction to negative feedback is? Taking criticism on the chin and making measurable, open improvements.

That’s where online reviews shine – even the negative ones can help you out if you're able to show you’re trying to improve.

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.

The 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 have enough of 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: pause, breathe, think, and 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 wrote a negative review online. 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 best 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.

However, rather than address the complaints, the owner went to the national press to call his customers “moaning prats”.

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 can all 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.

Learn how you can turn negative feedback into an opportunity to grow. Speak to one of our experts today.


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