how to deal with bad online review

When Your Customer Reads a Bad Online Review

The Situation

Jenny is a sales rep for a company that supplies uniforms to the health care industry. Ruth is the supply coordinator for a hospital. She’s been renting nursing scrubs for her workforce from Jenny’s firm for about six months.

Recently, Ruth was visiting an online customer review site of businesses and noticed a couple of negative reviews for Jenny’s company. Reviewers mentioned running short on uniforms because of late deliveries, as well as several billing problems.

bad online review

She decided to ask Jenny about the negative reports:

Jenny: Oh Ruth, please don’t pay attention to those reviews. They weren’t my customers, and I heard there were misunderstandings. Tempest in a teapot! It’s all been taken care of.
Ruth: Well, one reviewer seemed to feel there is an ongoing delivery problem. I just want to be sure —
Jenny: Of course you do. But you know those reviews stay posted forever. Check the date. The concerns have been addressed. You haven’t experienced any problems with our deliveries, right?
Ruth: Well, no . . . but we’ve only been renting from you for six months.
Jenny: Believe me, you will not have these kinds of problems.

Resolution, or Smoothing Over?

Ruth nods, and Jenny feels she has done her job. Her response was honest. She hopes she has put to rest what she considers an unfair aspect of online reviews — a few complaints can make it appear that a company has big problems.

However, while sincere, Jenny’s response may not be convincing. That could be because she did not pursue Q4 involvement of her customer. Jenny could have helped Ruth feel a lot more confident that the negative reviews do not indicate problems for her. How should she have handled this?

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