Don’t Try To Bury Bad Customer Reviews

Review Director

I was thinking about how businesses try burying bad reviews (the wrong way) and the movie Poltergeist came to mind. It's one scene in particular where the coffins and bodies started popping out of the ground in a rainstorm. That's a lot like how your reputation problems start popping up when you think you've got them buried.

The wrong way is hoping to just get more good reviews to make the bad reviews have a smaller impact. But that's the advice you've seen countless people give, right? Wouldn't a better way to deal with bad reviews be keeping them from being posted on the internet to begin with? That's what Review director does, stop bad reviews, before they're posted.

It can be scary

When you get the email or text message from Review Director on your phone, you need to acknowledge it by following up with the customer to fully understand the problem. If they didn't say anything to your face (most people don't want a confrontation) but point out a problem afterward, you need to follow up with a solution. But more importantly, you need to make them feel like they've been heard.

You haven't seen scary yet, but it's coming…

When people feel as though you're not listening, that you just dead-ended their complaint, “they'll show you” by going to the biggest platform with the biggest megaphone they can find, the internet. And when they post their experience, people chime in with what they think about it. And just like all of those bodies floating to the surface, the situation starts looking really bad really fast.

Don't make people feel as if you're burying the negative or not giving their complaint the weight it deserves.

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So what can you do?

It can't be said enough, make sure they feel like they've been heard. Don't make people feel as if you're burying the negative or not giving their complaint the weight it deserves. That is the surest way to get them to make it their mission to blacklist your business anywhere they can.

Preventing the uprising

You want them to feel as if they've been heard and you actually take criticism seriously. Some soft people skills go a long way in smoothing over rough edges of mistakes. I understand there are some times when there is nothing you can do to please some people. But those are not the norm.

How it works

Most people will be happy to know that you heard them and recognize a change needs to be made. Ask them for any other suggestions on what they think could have been done differently. You'd be surprised to find that even though the way you've been doing something for years has worked best, there actually could be a better way you just can't see from the inside.

Get it, use it!

Use the feedback form to hear what your customers don't like and implement changes based on that feedback. That way you can make sure that you get more and more happy people who are willing to point business your way. Converting would be detractors into advocates is powerful.


Follow up with them after changes are made. Review Director gets you their contact information. Let them know changes have been made and invite them to return and give your business another chance.

A system like Review Director in the wrong hands could be used for evil. Of course it can. Anything in the wrong hands can be used for evil. But that doesn't mean that it will save a bad business from their own bad practices IF they want to continue those bad practices as Business As Usual.

The right way to bury bad reviews is to get so many good reviews, the stray negative review that occasionally finds its way to the internet won't sink your reputation. And when you use Review Director for good, everybody is happy.

About The Author

Rob Calhoun

+ Rob Calhoun Helps small to medium businesses succeed by building systems for them that help them get new customers, retain customers, and re-energize past customers. Rob helps clients and marketers maximize the return they get from their online marketing efforts.


  • Winson Ng

    Reply Reply October 17, 2017

    Most businesses often ignore or reject bad reviews but often forget that it is through responding and overcoming the bad reviews that the business could grow. If the business is customer eccentric enough and provides satisfactory customer service to their unhappy buyers turning bad to good, their business would definitely flourish further. The difference between good and bad PR/CS makes a lot of differences.

    • Rob Calhoun

      Reply Reply October 17, 2017

      Exactly Winson, a business that sees and uses a bad review as a way to improve can beat out the competition.

      But unless a business has a way to reliably get their customers to post positive reviews online, bad reviews can give a false picture of that business to prospective customers.

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