Rightly or wrongly, review sites have the potential to make or break a business. For the most part, things stay friendly, but when someone leaves a bad review, it can be hard not to take it personally. Rule number 1 is to REMAIN CALM. If you find yourself typing at the speed of light while muttering obscenities, it’s probably time to step away from the keyboard, take a breather and reply like the cool, collected, professional that you are. So, this month, we decided to review some of the best (and worst) ways to deal with reviews – hopefully shedding some light on the dark art of dealing with those pesky keyboard warriors.
limber comeback score: 9/10
“Some complaints will be false” (David Brent, the Office).
We love this approach – precise, calculated, no-stone unturned. This restaurant owner not only knows that Chappie369 is up to no good, she’s also got the evidence to prove it, thanks to the gift that is CCTV. We’re giving this comeback a 9/10 for the timing accuracy alone.
limber comeback score: 5/10
These guys were clearly feeling bold, and responses like this are certainly a little risky, but it sounds like this venue was totally right not to serve this customer. The AA link was probably one step too far and an unnecessary twist of the knife. We’re giving this comeback a 5/10 – it’s short, clear and straight to the point, but we just felt it wasn’t a great look for a bar to make light of alcoholism.
We did wonder if this individual was reviewing her own performance as a waitress…
limber comeback score: 8/10
Better luck next time! There’s nothing like catching out a fake reviewer with cold, hard facts – but these can actually be really disheartening, especially if they bring down your overall rating. It’s also a shame that an ex-staff member would do this, rather than leaving with a bit of class. Most review sites provide the option to report false accusations, but these appeals are sometimes more effort than their worth. A quick response that proves the fraudster wrong and mitigates the impact of the bad review, will usually do the trick just as well, and in this case, taking the high road was super effective.
One star for food that tasted “great” – bit harsh!
limber comeback score: 7/10
If all else fails, never underestimate the power of a sincere apology – you should WANT feedback to improve your business, so showing you’re open to it is a great way to respond to critics. Sometimes people are hard to please, and in this case, starting an online feud won’t get you very far (however tempting in might be). Most of the time, angry reviewers are looking for a fight, so avoiding giving them the satisfaction by responding with something calm and collected like this venue.
How do you handle bad reviews? Have you got any tips for fellow venues? Let us know!