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How to Handle Negative Reviews and Online Comments

Oct 9 2017

by Laura Mixon Camacho

The Southern Coterie blog: "How to Handle Negative Reviews and Online Comments" by Laura Mixon Camacho

Isn’t it #funnynotfunny, how people can be so bold about leaving hateful comments online? Or make a Mount Kilimanjaro (or Mount Everest) out of a pebble?

You know in your brain that these are cowards but it’s hard not to feel hurt, angry, ashamed….and to quickly spiral downward inside your head.

The truth is you really don’t have time to go there — to journey down that dark hole of self-criticism. #nothelpful

There is a reason these idiots bother us and it’s that teensie weensie eensie shadow of a doubt that whispers, “What if they’re right?”

They’re not.

First of all, you can’t please everyone all the time. Likewise, you cannot escape being judged. Some people will love what you’re doing and saying, and others, not so much.

Even Beyoncé has haters.

Every two weeks I send out a newsletter with my blog post on it. Some people will write me to thank me for sending them just the right message at just the right time. “You’re such a good writer!”

Others, much fewer in number (thankfully), unsubscribe.

I give a workshop on effective feedback. One person writes “Pure fluff. I got no value from this.” Another writes, “Hands down, the best teaching on this topic I’ve ever heard.” Same workshop. Same company. Different points of view.

Second of all, the fact that someone bothered to write a negative comment means you’re making an impact in the world. Yay for you!!!! If you were at home twiddling your thumbs in your closet, or eating Ben & Jerry’s on your sofa, no one would bother you with ridiculous comments, positive or negative.

When comments are anonymous or even semi-anonymous, people with psychological issues, very hurt individuals, or maybe even people who have just a little too much time on their hands, sometimes take the opportunity to lash out their anger with the world….on sweet go-getter you.

You would think these trolls would think of something better to do with their lives, right?

It’s okay to feel hurt.

It’s not okay to stop breathing so INHALE slowly and now exhale slowly.

It’s okay to go sit quietly for a while or share what happened with a friend.

It’s not okay to give up.

It’s okay to turn off blog comments.

It’s not okay to stop writing.

It’s okay to give refunds when appropriate.

It’s okay to have a no-refund policy, clearly articulated.

If the issue is a negative product or service review, answer Swiftly, Calmly and Politely.

  1. Thank them for reaching out. Literally, write, “Thanks for reaching out.”
  2. Apologize for the inconvenience of unmet expectations. “I’m sorry to hear you aren’t happy with the product/service.”
  3. Encourage them to send you a private message.
  4. Take it from there per your policy — that particular conversation does not need to be public.

Having a business is not for cream puffs.

Gary Vaynerchuk says, “You have to be no less than a customer concierge, doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard.” Customers, not haters.

Online negativity is part of modern life. The Internet did not change human nature. Leaving negative comments and reviews shows that your brand is honest. That sincerity will actually strengthen important client relationships.

I’ll top off with this quote that maybe says it all:

“We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.”  – Henry Ward Beecher

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Laura Mixon Camacho View More Blog Posts from this Author

Laura Mixon Camacho, PhD, is obsessed with communication as a tool for building bridges and careers. She believes all conversations should be carried out with style and imagination. And public speaking is just a special sort of conversation. Laura creates quirky communication workshops and she does private one-to-one coaching. She is the go-to coach if you want to improve your communication skills to move your business or career forward with more confidence, more impact and less stress. Read more at www.mixonian.com.

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