Dealing with Negative Reviews

Whilst no one likes to receive a negative review, if your business is online they are a fact of life. Most people care deeply about the service or product they provide so a negative review can seem like a personal attack.

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What should I do if someone writes a negative review about my business?

The first thing to say is NEVER take it personally. A negative review is just a snapshot in time of one person's experience. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, no matter how hard you try or how great you are.

People rarely bother to take the time to write a review unless they have strong emotions either way - there are very few reviews which record the service they received as merely 'satisfactory.' Positive and negative reviews should be treated as having the same intrinsic value. They represent a unique opportunity to hear exactly what your customers think of your service. While it’s important to look for patterns in your reviews (e.g., people keep saying that reception staff are rude or that your products disintegrate after a couple of weeks), you should never take any single review to heart.

Most users of The Good Vet & Pet Guide are looking for a consensus among all of the reviews they read rather than accepting the odd negative review as the be all and end all. Although negative reviews will irritate you a lot, you should try and place them in a wider context. If, however, you seem to be attracting more than your share of negative reviews it is probably a sign that something might be wrong.

Remember - having one or two negative reviews amongst a backdrop of 4 and 5 star reviews won’t hurt your business, but, what it will do is make your listing look real and authentic. This can be further bolstered with a thoughtful and balanced response.

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What should I do if someone writes a negative review?

We don’t arbitrate disputes, so your best bet is to post a public response in order to set the record straight from your perspective. A well-crafted and reasonable response can sometimes mean more that a load of positive reviews. People will be able to see you in a positive light and as everyone knows, there are two sides to every story.

We cannot and will not, however, investigate individual complaints so please do not send us reams of correspondence either in support of or refuting a particular complaint. We are unable to mediate between parties.

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Can I have my business listing information removed from The Good Vet & Pet Guide?

Clients have the right to talk about what they like (and don’t like) about pretty much anything. We don’t remove business listings, so your best bet is to engage with your fans and critics alike, and hear what they have to say.

We do, however, moderate reviews and do not tolerate profane language or similar. We also do not accept anonymous reviews and may ask reviewers to prove that they are a bona fide client of the business they are reviewing. If the reviewer fails to provide the necessary confirmation, we will not publish the review.

There are occasionally circumstances where we can disable the ability for people to leave reviews on your listing. This is not recommended as clients will draw their own conclusion as to why you are not willing to receive honest feedback and take their business elsewhere.

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How can I trust reviews posted on The Good Vet & Pet Guide?

We started out life as a consumer review site of veterinary businesses, so we take the integrity of reviews seriously.

There are occasions when people try and manipulate the system by posting bogus reviews, good and bad. There can be several reasons why we may reject a review but it is most commonly because the email address is not real or that the business has tried to review themselves. Whilst we are not perfect, we have seen several examples of reviews that we have rejected appearing on other dog friendly directories.

In conclusion, reviews are a great way to build your online reputation as a high quality and trusted business. There will always be occasions where people behave unreasonably but that is just a fact of life.

Rather than just becoming angry or burying your head in the sand, you should take the opportunity to look at whether there is anything you can do better.

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