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The dreaded "do not recommend" button - real example included

Hi all, welcome back to the #SocialBlog!

As business owners, we are passionate about our business and hope that everyone is satisfied with what we are doing. However, that's not always true, unfortunately, you can't please everyone you come in contact with.


So what do you do when you see someone giving you a "1 star" or a "do not recommend"?


I'll show you an example of a recent review on a locally-owned Rockford business and 5 tips on how to approach negative reviews.



Over the weekend in Rockford, Illinois there was a negative review posted to a locally-owned restaurant's Facebook page. Within a day the post went viral because of the responses the business made to the customer(s): 90 reactions, 362 comments, 149 shares and 29 new negative reviews and growing. 😳 I was seeing people commenting, "coming from Texas" or another state multiple times throughout the feed: the power of social media.


Now I am all for a business that sets up a strategy and is known for the way they roast people online, great examples are Wendy's or Gordon Ramasy's Twitter accounts. People go to these accounts to be roasted, they literally ask for it. However, this was not that kind of response from the local business (photos and names have been redacted from the original screenshots):


*Please note that these photos were taken 3 hours prior to the above analytics.


This company literally fought with multiple customers on their social media platform:

"-Customer name- you have some audacity telling us how to run our business. we are done here have a nice day. You are out of line. You came for breakfast that's what you got you're overstepping your boundaries. Pray for us?"

- Company


"we are sorry everyone thinks they can dictate how we operate our restaurant. We have a strict rule no parties over 8 on saturdays and Sundays. No exceptions. It's not personal it's policy. Our manager is a wonderful person! What you bullies are doing is unfair. If you don't want to return then don't. We are not trying to be rude. But we have a policy and back our manager 100%"

- Company


This is a prime example of how to not react to a negative review. But when the day comes and your company does, unfortunately, receive a bad review here are 5 tips on the next steps:

  1. Determine if you should respond: I get it, some people are just mad and trolling a page and no matter what you say they will never be happy. If this is the case, maybe it's best not to respond or to review your company's standards on how to handle a review like that. Some companies have you report hostile reviews, some delete the review (not something I would recommend), ban the reviewer if they are spamming the page or they won't respond at all. You should always use your best judgment and follow your company standards.

  2. Recognize the issue: A company should recognize the issue(s), but does not need to admit they are wrong in a situation, especially if you are in a position where you could be sued (i.e. malpractice in healthcare). A simple comment you can leave is, "we understand your frustration," "thank you for bringing this to our attention," or "we would like to follow up on this." No need to over do it.

  3. Get the conversation offline: Don't continue your conversation online when it comes to a negative review, let them rant in a private message or on the phone. The more information the customer puts out in the open the more likely someone else is going to chime in, similar to the above situation. By saying, "please send us a private message with your contact information" or "please call xxx-xxx-xxxx to speak with a representative," are quick ways to stop the conversation online and redirect the reviewer.

  4. Grammar: A brand needs to show good grammar usage and proper spelling on their marketing platforms. It's always best to re-read your comments, emails, messages and other marketing items before hitting send. If you have the ability, ask a co-worker to go over the copy for a fresh set of eyes. You want to look professional in all aspects and grammar and spelling are included in that bucket.

  5. Keep your brand's voice: It's important to keep your company's values and voice and the forefront of your mind when responding to negative reviews. If your company does take a more satirical route in responses, know that there are a time and place for that voice. There is a difference between being funny and being unprofessional and sometimes it's a fine line.


Keep in mind, that how you do or don't respond to negative reviews can impact your business both positively and negatively. Don't let just anyone run your business accounts and ensure that you are portraying the voice you want to towards your online community.




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© 2020 by Social Vision LLC.                   Belvidere, Illinois | carolyn@socialvisionllc.com

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