Not all of us have the perfect business model, the perfect product or service that never fails, or the perfect staff to execute our product or service. If you do, congratulations. You are lucky. For those of us who don’t, read on to learn how to handle the negative comments we all see at one point or another.

Nip it in the bud. There is no use in letting a negative comment go without a response. That will only hurt you. Handling negative comments maturely and respectfully will show genuine concern for any mishap with your product or service. 

  • don’t let a negative comment go unchecked
  • don’t ignore it or allow it to fester
  • don’t let a negative comment become a trend
  • don’t let one negative comment taint your whole business or service

Apologize. Most people who feel they have been wronged want to be heard. First, listen to the complaint. Understand it. You can’t offer a sincere apology without knowing all the details of what happened. Then apologize. Show them you heard their concerns with your apology. Remember, an apology doesn’t mean you are admitting any wrongdoing. You are simply apologizing.

  • apologize for the inconvenience
  • apologize for the mistake
  • apologize for the error
  • apologize for not being able to fix it
  • apologize for your inability to fix it
  • apologize for not being able to make it better

Do not make excuses. Nobody likes a pass-the-buck person. Take responsibility and do what you can to remedy the situation. Placing blame doesn’t accomplish anything. It only shows you aren’t willing to stand up for your business.

  • don’t blame the customer
  • don’t blame the weather
  • don’t blame the economy
  • don’t blame your competitors
  • don’t blame your employees
  • don’t blame your suppliers
  • don’t blame your spouse

Stay positive and be bold. If you remain positive, you are more likely to change a negative customer’s attitude. If you follow their lead, the situation will only escalate. Remember, negative comments will happen. It’s how you react that gets the attention.

  • stay positive and be bold
  • don’t make excuses
  • don’t let one negative comment taint your whole business or service
  • remember that you are a brand

Remember that you are a brand. There is no way around it. As a business owner, you are your brand. You put your word and your face behind your business. Make sure you are proud of your brand and yourself 100% of the time.

  • your brand is your reputation
  • your brand is your company’s reputation
  • your brand is how you treat your customers
  • your brand is how you treat your employees
  • your brand is how you treat your suppliers

Do not let one negative comment taint your whole business or service. Everyone receives a negative comment from time to time. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing a poor job – maybe the person is having an off day. Maybe the person has been burned before and is still bitter. Or maybe they did have a negative experience with your product or service. Let this be the exception, not the rule. 

  • focus on the positive comments
  • remember that you can’t please everyone
  • focus on the people who are happy with your service

If you want to turn a negative comment into a plus, you must be sincere, honest and stay positive about it. People can tell if you aren’t sincere about your apology. Do your best to be genuinely sorry and that will show through your words and actions.

  • be honest
  • be sincere
  • be positive
  • don’t be defensive
  • don’t let one negative comment taint your whole business or service

As the saying goes, we have one mouth and two ears – use them proportionately. Listen first, then respond appropriately.

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