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How to Dim the Glare of a One-Star Review

I recently had a horrendous customer service experience at a local car wash. As a marketing professional, I know full well that people are much more likely to share negative feedback on a product or service than positive experiences, and I am no different. As soon as I got home, I bad mouthed the company to my husband and promptly got online to leave one star reviews on Facebook, Yelp and the company’s website.

When I got to their Facebook page, I was both affirmed and comforted to see more than a dozen other bad reviews of the car wash. What surprised me was that there was no response or interaction from the company. In fact, as I write this days later, there still hasn’t been any communication from the car wash’s management. So, here’s a little “free advice” for the car wash and any other company that receives negative feedback online…

Generally speaking, a company should respond to negative reviews, but only after they’ve cooled down and developed a thoughtful response. Addressing the less-than-stellar review can help mitigate any damage the negative feedback might cause. How a company responds matters. Their reply should attempt to resolve the customer’s complaint and should not be argumentative.

If a business ignores a bad review, it may be perceived that the business doesn’t care or isn’t aware of what’s being said about them. Neither is good. And, by all means, a company should not delete the negative review. Instead, we encourage clients to bury any negative feedback with the positive. One dim star isn’t so glaring when it’s surrounded by glowing five-star reviews. (In the case of the car wash, their one and two star reviews are more than double the number of four and five star reviews, which indicates that they have a real problem.)

On the flip side, a business should respond to positive reviews, too. Thank happy clients for their business and for taking the time to share their thoughts. The more you engage with your clients online, the better. Engagement helps develop your good reputation and attract more loyal customers.


This post courtesy of Account Manager Jennifer Kardian

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