Reviews are signals that we are doing the right things. But sometimes they are complaints. Sometimes we make a mistake and someone feels unhappy enough about their experience, that they decide to leave a negative review. Not the end of the world but not something to disregard either - read on.
Take Responsibility For The Complaint
A genuine negative review can come from either a paying customer or someone who dealt with the business, be they prospect or third party. It could have been a brief experience or over a longer period of time. Unless the review is fake, the first thing you should do is take responsibility for it. Know that people don't have a bad experience by themselves, it takes two to tango. You can't change if you don't take ownership.
Use The Experience to Improve Your Business
We've got to take this as a learning experience. No business will ever give out 100% positive experiences. It's good to get feedback - you can't grow if you don't know. Now let's use that feedback to improve your business, whether it's customer service, quality or systems.
If Possible, Handle the Complaint
The worst thing you can do is respond to the negative review defensively or with anger. Guys mention case specifics and get all backed up and hostile - you don't want that drama on your Google profile. Even if you're right and you totally want to set the record straight and this person has it all wrong... It's a bad look. Plus you don't want to argue with someone.
The options are to not respond or to respond by taking ownership of the mistake and offering to make it right. I know a lot of companies will invite the person to reach out to them. Take the initiative and tell them you'll be contacting them.
If you handle the complaint well you can keep their business and earn future business from them. A customer who had their complaint handled is a happy customer. The next time you get a negative review, don't sweat it. Learn from it and take advantage of the opportunity.