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  • Writer's pictureDave Norris

What to do about a negative review

Updated: Dec 5, 2017

A bad review from a client can be a good thing! Yeah, they suck, but learn from them and find ways to improve your business. Nobody's perfect and that goes for businesses as well.

When Linda Kick saw the review from an Our CupCakery customer complimenting the flavor of one her cupcakes but lamenting that it looked a little plain, it got the bakery owner thinking: Why not do more to showcase just how fancy the bakery can get with its custom cakes and cupcakes?

“We brought all of our sprinkles, sparkles and glitter to the front of the store and created a more evolved display case of all of the flavors we can create,” said Kick, whose bakery is in Dublin, Ohio. “We’re showing people many of the options when they walk in.”

Now, whether customers are buying one treat for a quick snack or ordering a wedding cake, they have a greater sense of what the boutique bakery can do as soon as they set foot in the store. If walk-in customers see the embellishments and want to add a flower, sprinkles or a message to their cupcake, staff will accommodate them, she said.

The change was a simple one but it has had great appeal to customers, Kick said. Paying attention to what online reviewers say about your business can contribute to its success. She routinely uses them to enhance operations and customer service.

Positive and negative reviews can be an opportunity to improve your business. We recommend coming at reviews with the attitude, “I want to make it better.” or "How can I make this a positive or learning situation". It’s especially critical for the bad ones.

Sometimes, that means addressing a specific customer’s concern. But other times, it means looking for issues that reoccur within negative reviews or thinking about the business processes that led to the complaint. Don't point fingers at them, look into yourself or business process first.

Look for patterns. It can be very expensive to do customer surveys. Seeing your reviews is like getting this information for free. Consider them as research for your company.

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