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How can I deal with negative reviews?

The internet is a great tool for consumers. Not only does it allow them to search for local services and goods, it also provides a platform for their voices to be heard. While this is great when customers have positive feedback for your business, many business owners are unsure of how to respond after receiving a negative review. Entrepreneur offers the following advice on how to handle poor customer reviews in the best way possible.

As soon as you read a negative review, begin immediately formulating a response. The faster you respond, the sooner you'll get control over the situation. However, when responding, it is important to keep levelheaded and refrain from acting in an angry or frustrated manner. Even if the feedback is baseless, you must still treat the reviewer with respect and dignity. Offer an apology, if appropriate, and detail how you plan on rectifying the issue.

By the same token, be prepared to enact changes within your business when warranted. Be transparent on how you plan to enact these changes and stay in contact with customers who've left negative reviews. It's possible for businesses to bounce back from lapses in quality, provided proper steps are taken. However, you also want to carefully read reviews to ensure the criticisms are valid.

You can do so by looking for patterns in any less-than-glowing reviews your business receives. Even when criticism is harsh, identifying patterns will allow you to make the most of a bad situation and adjust your business practices accordingly.

If you believe a review contains false information, you may want to take legal action. Reviews that contain deliberately false, misleading information may be considered libel, which can harm your business if you don't find a solution. In such a case, consider scheduling a consultation with a business law attorney to review your options.

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