Responding to criticism and defending your business from bad reviews

Posted on by Jo Shaw

Estimated read time: 3 mins

You can’t please everyone, but here’s how to stay in control when criticism strikes.

The life of an entrepreneur is never an easy one. When you pour your heart and soul into your business, working hundred-hour weeks and sacrificing family time, it can be devastating to receive critical feedback from your customers.

With social media at everyone’s fingertips, we are now very used to having our say and there are plenty of platforms both off- and on-line to air our views. From Trustpilot to TripAdvisor, whether you like it or not, your business is constantly being measured up and commented on.

No matter how great a job you’re doing, it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time, so what should you do when you come in for some criticism?

Be informed

Regularly check relevant platforms such as Trustpilot for any new reviews of your business, as well as keeping on top of social media comments. Respond to all of them as quickly as you can or consider hiring someone to do this for you. Acknowledging positive comments helps to build loyalty in your customers and engaging promptly in a dialogue with negative ones can help to diffuse tension and improve perceptions.

Be responsible

If you come in for negative comments, then apologise where necessary, address the complaint and don’t avoid or push the blame onto someone else. Even if the situation wasn’t your fault, passing the buck never helps and won’t create a good impression of you or your business.

Be calm

This one is easier said than done but getting angry and defensive isn’t going to solve a situation. Stay professional and polite at all times and try not to take comments to heart. You’re never going to be able to please everyone, but it’s not worth losing your reputation over.

Be generous

Sometimes it’s better to overcompensate rather than risk tarnishing your reputation. Think about strategies you can use to appease angry customers, such as discount vouchers for future orders, free product samples or even a handwritten note through the post with a personal apology.

Make safer, smarter, better-informed business decisions with Experian Business Assist.

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