How to deal with bad product reviews

Apr 11, 2017 | Handmade Business Tips

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From time to time it’s going to happen. Someone is going to leave a bad review on one of your products, you heart will sink. Maybe it already happened and left you feeling really anxious? Trust me, I understand! Let me show you how to deal with bad product reviews and negative feedback the right way.

You can watch the video, or read the post below 🙂

Constructive feedback

First, we need to acknowledge that there is two types of bad feedback or bad reviews. The first one is what I like to call constructive feedback and constructive feedback isn’t actually a bad thing.

It’s “bad” because it feels personal and it hurts a little bit. But if that person is an actual customer and they had different expectations for the products they received, well you need to realise that and take it into consideration to fix the problem and improve your products or customer service. Remember that feedback isn’t always bad and can actually be beneficial for your business.

About the “nasties”

The second type of negative feedback is what I like to call the nasties. The “nasties” is when you get a review that you know deep down is completely wrong, 100% unfair, and lets you feel really upset because you don’t even really understand it.

You might even be thinking “Why is this person obviously having a bad day and taking it out on me?”

And I understand that. But y­­ou still need to apologise. Even if it hurts, remember that other people are going to read the answer that you are writing to that nasty comment and that is what matters. And remember than people can spot a crazy review and someone being unreasonable as much as you can, so don’t worry too much about it.

Take a deep breath

Before we even get into the three step process to deal with bad product reviews, I want you take a deep breath and clear your mind.

It feels really personal when someone leave a bad review about one of your products, but take some time away from the computer to realize that it is not personal and go back to your computer when you feel calm and ready to reply to it in a professional manner.

The three-step process to dealing with bad product reviews

1 – Answer and apologize

The first step is answer and apologise. Whether the customer is right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. You still need to reply in a very polite and kind way.

Pro tip: Be careful to not use defensive sentences in trying to defend yourself. Simply acknowledge the problem, say that you’re taking it into consideration and that you’re working at fixing it.

2 – A private matter

The next step is to actually take the conversation away from the review page and into your inbox. You can do that by simply asking the person to contact you directly at your email address.

A good example of step one and step two put together is this one:

Dear Sandra, Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. I’m very sorry to hear about the experience you had and would love to help you fix the issue. Please allow me to resolve this by mailing me directly at”

3 – Fix the issue

Finally, you need to fix the issue. You can do that by re-sending a product if that’s possible with the type of products you’re selling or by simply refunding the purchase.

The best way to decide on what’s best is to communicate with your angry customer and ask them what they ultimately would prefer.

Once the problem is fixed and you resolve the issue, then and only then you can ask them if they are willing to go back to Etsy and change their review for you.

Remember, a bad review is not the end of the world. You’ve got this!

If you would like more tips and resources to help you run and grow your handmade business, you can get free access to the resource library for makers and handmade entrepreneurs by filling out the form below.

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