Angry Bride New

In the wedding industry emotions can run high for both clients and vendors. Even if you are putting forward your best work a time may come when you encounter negative comments about your wedding business, whether in an online review or through social media.

While this can be frustrating, it might surprise you to know that many prospective clients won’t judge your business by the negative comments but by how you handle things. Stay positive and you could turn the situation into one that actually gets you business.

Is there a wrong way to react? Definitely.

A great example of what NOT to do is currently playing out in the media: Kleargear.com, an online company based in Michigan fined a customer $3500 for leaving a negative review, claiming the review violated the terms and conditions she agreed to at time of purchase.

When she would not pay the fee they reported her to the credit bureaus and ruined her credit report. As news of this situation went viral on the internet the negative backlash was so substantial the company resorted to taking down their social media sites.

So what is the best way to deal with a negative review? 

3 Tips to Deal with Negative Feedback 

1 – Don’t ignore it.

As much as you want it to go away the best thing to do is address the situation. Resist the temptation to respond rashly- a well thought out response helps potential clients see that you care and that you did the best you could in that situation. Online wedding review sites like WeddingWire allow you to respond directly to the review on your public listing page. (Note: if the review is false, try disputing it first.) Facebook comments should also be responded to quickly as they can grow out of control as they are shared.

How to respond:

  • Most clients just want to be heard and know that you understand their frustration. Your response should show that you empathize with their feelings and that you understand how disappointing the situation must have been for them.
  • Thank the reviewer and say you are sorry that they did not have a good experience with your company. Give your side of the story in a factual and professional way. You want potential clients to react positively to your response.
  • If the reviewer keeps engaging, know when to stop. Some people just want to complain and more than one response can be a waste of your energy. 

2 – Seek positive press.

Reach out to your happy clients and ask them to post a review. This will help to deflect from the negative comments and bury the negative review in the online search results.

Whether you are reacting to a negative review or not, positive press is an important part of your wedding business marketing plan. Check out these tips: 8 Steps to Build Up Positive Reviews Fast

3 – Be proactive.

We all want our clients to be happy and satisfied with their experience with our wedding business, and with us. Sometimes it is a miscommunication between you and the client that causes the bad experience.

Make sure to communicate exactly what they are getting from you and listen to their expectations. Follow up with them after the wedding by sending out a survey or soliciting feedback to find ways to improve.

If you know something went wrong, contact the client before they post a negative review. You can follow these steps: Weddings Gone Wrong: 5 Steps to Avoid Bad Reviews

Remember: things happen and everyone can have a bad day. It’s how you address the situation that counts.

Have you ever dealt with a negative review? What do you think of how this company handled it?

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Posted By

Brenna Catalano Rhoades

Brenna Catalano Rhoades is a wedding invitation designer who specializes in making things both pretty and functional. When she’s not working with clients through her company BC Design Studio, you'll find her chasing after her 4-year old daughter who refuses to sit still.

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2 thoughts on “How NOT to Handle a Negative Review”

  1. Nate Whitehill says:

    Excellent post!

  2. Cheryl says:

    About 5 yrs ago I provided solo violin for a very small (12 guests) wedding, they had wanted violin & cello but could not afford it. It was a beautiful day, outdoors at a park, and I was happy to play their music selections, and congratulated them afterwards on their intimate wedding. Everything seemed fine. However, they left a slightly negative review, complaining that solo violin didn’t sound the same as violin & cello. My response was simply to affirm that, yes, solo violin is not the same as violin & cello.
    Sometimes you just have to affirm what they complain about—in this case anybody can see, one musician simply is not the same as two—so don’t forget that while they have identified you the vendor in a negative light, the prospective customers out there will also be able to maintain rationality. Unfortunately if there is a 5-star system, and your client only gives you 2 (for an irrational reason), there is no way to reverse the damage to your otherwise 5 star rating. However some sites will in fact totally remove a particular comment.

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