Bad publicity can happen to the best of us. Sometimes customers won’t be satisfied and they’ll leave a bad review, or make rude comments on social media. It’s inevitable that we all endure negative feedback or complaints—but, it’s how we handle it that matters the most. Here are three things you can do to recover from a bad review.  

Reply within 24 hours—or sooner.

Respond to the customer complaint immediately. Too often customers call in or visit your place of business and wait too long for a response. They’re put on hold or told a manager will be there soon. And even though it may only be 10-15 minutes, waiting too long makes people impatient and irritable. Try to bypass this altogether and reply back within 24 hours.

Don’t delete negative comments.

If you receive a negative complaint via social media, respond immediately. Don’t just delete it and move on. We know it’s easy to push the delete button, but the problem is still there. And that person wants answers. In fact, so do all your followers. And most importantly—your reputation is at stake. It’s likely that since that comment was posted, several of your followers already viewed it, so you’re best off replying in a professional manner and showing just how awesome your reputation management is during times of tribulation.

Have a positive standard response ready and direct them to the details. An example of a standard response is:

“We deeply apologize for your experience. Your satisfaction is our top priority and we hope to solve this issue promptly and professionally. Please message us with your direct email or phone #, and we’ll reach out to you within 24 hours.”  

Pick your Battles.

If you have a repeat complainer, continue to act professionally but decide if it’s worth the fight. If it’s not, this is the time when silence is golden. That person’s credibility might be in question after all those complaints and you have to ask yourself if having them as a customer is even worth it. In addition, if you’re getting more than one of these, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. LISTEN to these complaints and then do something about it. Fast.