Nobody wants bad reviews. That’s a given.
But, sometimes it happens. Whether you feel it’s warranted or not.
As a business owner, one of the toughest parts of the job is dealing with unhappy, or even angry, clients. What do you do when a client turns to Facebook and seems hell bent on destroying your business?
This sounds dramatic but it does happen. And while we love social media because it brings everyone together, it’s a double edged sword. Someone who is angry at your business could “rally the troops” and attack your Facebook Reviews.
If you think I’m being extreme, let’s remember the case of the blogger vs the photographer. Blogger Neely and her husband Andrew had a $125 disagreement with their wedding photographer – so they took their complaint to the local news. Soon after the segment aired, the photographer’s Facebook Page was flooded with nasty messages to the point where she had to delete her Page.
More recently a Southern California DJ has come under fire after a potential client posted a screenshot of an email where the DJ made a misogynist comment about female DJs. Soon their Facebook Page lit up with 1 star reviews from people who had never even worked with them. Unfortunately, the owner of the company made the situation much worse by trying to justify the comments rather than offer a simple apology and retraction.
And with Facebook reviews, they can’t be deleted. Only the person who posted it can delete their review or comment. Oof.
So what should you do with negative Facebook reviews? Whether you find yourself in an extreme situation like the photographer, or are doing damage control like the DJ, here are a few things to remember. Obviously all of these suggestions won’t apply to every situation, but keep these in mind if you find yourself starting to go viral for the wrong reasons.
How to Handle Negative Facebook Reviews
Honesty is always the best policy. Even if someone is lying about you, take the high road and share your side of the story in the most honest way possible. As time goes on it’s too difficult to try to keep up with all the fibs, so just be honest from the beginning.
Never (ever ever) complain about the client on your private Facebook profile or in a private group. Guess what? The Internet has eyes and ears everywhere.
Also, never ask your friends to leave you positive reviews to balance out the negative reviews. Asking for fake reviews is always tacky, period.
Trying to explain yourself without an apology will often make a bad situation worse. In the case of the DJ he kept making comments trying to explain what he really meant, which led to MORE angry comments. If someone misconstrues what you said, be the bigger person and apologize for the offending comments. This isn’t the time to try to change someone’s mind about their personal beliefs and values.
Everything will calm down if you leave it alone. Yes, I know you want to fight back. Yes, I know you want to clear your name. There’s a quote by Alan Watts that I love … “Muddy waters are best cleared by leaving it alone.” Apologize, take the conversation offline, work it out, and stop talking about it online.
The customer is always right. It’s the #1 principle of business. Even if we know they are wrong. Even if we know they are lying. The customer is always right. Try your best to find a way to make it right with them before a situation gets out of control. Even if you have to take a hit, either financially or to your ego.
Last resort: Start gathering evidence. I hate to include this, but in the example of the photographer above the couple was set on destroying her business (as evidenced by a text message to a friend that came out during legal discovery). If you have a really bad feeling about the situation, start taking screenshots of everything just to be safe. I’m not saying this to scare you – these situations are extremely rare; most negative comments are just Internet trolls having their idea of fun and will eventually go away if you ignore them.
While negative reviews and Internet trolls are not fun, it’s part of life in the social media age. Social media makes it easy to spread positive news, but negative news seems to spread like damn wildfire. Whatever you can do to douse it as quickly as possible will serve you well in the end.