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How Professional Services Companies Should Respond to Negative Feedback Online

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Social media is a powerful digital marketing tool that allows our firms to promote our brands and service and connect with our target audience. The benefits generally outweigh the disadvantages, but many professional services companies (architecture, engineering, construction, legal, financial, and more) have trouble dealing with NEGATIVE COMMENTS AND REVIEWS.

No firm is perfect and negative feedback (whether it comes from a real reviewer or an internet troll) is inevitable. Online haters will eventually find your profile and leave comments or reviews you dread. The real question is: how do you deal with these comments as a professional services company? Believe it or not – how you address these comments says a lot about who you are as a brand!

How to deal with negative comments while also protecting your brand

When you receive a negative comment the first thing to understand is that it happens to everyone! Large and respectable brands deal with hundreds of hate comments a day. How you respond is so important because if it’s done correctly, you could change the mind of your online viewers and increase trust by solving a problem or showing empathy. Here are some ways you can handle negative comments and reviews on your online platforms:

Analyze and Offer a Solution

Often bad reviews come from simple things that might have gone wrong during a customer experience. The best thing to do when receiving a negative comment is to evaluate it first and see if you can offer a solution or ask to meet with the client to resolve the issue. Clients love when companies take action to correct a mistake.

Answer Quickly and Keep it Personalized

Letting a comment sit for weeks will just make the client more agitated. In fact, 53% of customers expect a business to respond to negative reviews within a week. You want to address the comment as soon as possible to avoid any more negative feedback. Our best advice: don’t be a robot! When answering a negative comment you want it to be personalized so the client doesn’t feel like you just copied and pasted a comment you say to everyone.

NEVER delete Negative Comments

As frustrated as you are, the answer is never just to delete the comment. Deleting a negative comment will only add more fire and they may even be tempted to just post it hundreds of times. Negative comments are a part of business and clients like to see how you handle them. In the case of an internet troll that is not an actual person who experienced your firm’s services, consider the source and speak with your leadership team about the appropriateness of your response: you may possibly delete or respond with a statement that confirms this is not a legitimate consumer of yours.

Read Comments and Make a Change

Take a minute to actually think about these comments and decide if you can make a change, especially if you see a trend in comments with the same complaint. A lot of times negative comments can be great constructive criticism. When you take those comments and initiate change, you might be surprised at the positive feedback you receive after.

Don’t Let Negative Comments Derail You!

When you receive your first negative comment, it may feel discouraging and upsetting. The truth is, not every client is right for you and will like everything you do. If you are confident in your products/services and how you treat your clients then you shouldn’t let a few negative feedback affect you. Make sure to maintain a consistent flow of positive client testimonials and brand updates to help overcome the negative noise.

30|90 Marketing specializes in coaching business owners on how to address and deal with online feedback, brand awareness, and negative situations like these. If you are still struggling to manage your customer comments and reviews, reach out to us today to see how we can help!

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