How to deal with bad online reviews

Yael Warman

“The reality is, more often than not, you will not be able to remove a negative online review. That being the case, the next best thing you can do is to join the conversation by responding publicly. The number one rule for responding to a negative review is not to become defensive” – Yael Warman, Leverate

A reality of owning a forex brokerage is that you can do everything right and still end up with a bad online review. This happens because each customer has their subjective opinion about what makes a good service and for any one particular customer, your service wasn’t it. That doesn’t mean your whole business is flawed however, so take a deep breath. Getting a bad review can be emotionally painful as much as it can be financially painful, but there are some wise techniques for dealing with a bad review that will turn the negative experience into a positive outcome for your brokerage.

Contact the Review Site

When Steve Rick found out that he had received a negative review on Daily Forex, he contacted the well-known review site to ask for some suggestions as to what he could do about it. Daily Forex maintains a policy of not removing a negative review and therefore trying to convince them to remove one is near on impossible. However, if you can prove that the review does not meet their policy standards, such as being submitted by a competitor, then Daily Forex will remove an illegitimate review.

Respond Publicly

The reality is, more often than not, you will not be able to remove a negative online review. That being the case, the next best thing you can do is to join the conversation by responding publicly. The number one rule for responding to a negative review is not to become defensive.

Rather, demonstrate your professionalism and show empathy for the poor service that your client received. Having not been able to convince Daily Forex to remove the negative review of his brokerage, Rick responded to the client and apologized for the inconvenience caused. He then acknowledged the error which contributed to the unusually poor experience. This response indicates that you genuinely care about the service satisfaction experienced by your clients. Demonstrating this on a public forum allows other prospective clients to see that you truly provide a professional and quality service.

Adjust the Situation

For Rick, his empathetic gesture certainly paid off. After directly contacting the client, he was able to identify that the problem was caused due to an execution error, where the pending order was not filled when it should have been. Despite the willingness on behalf of the broker to correct this and open the position, doing so now would represent a loss for the client, as it would no longer be in profit. The brokerage provided a bonus to the value of the expected profit of the position as indicated by the client. After this the client went back to update his review on Daily Forex from one star to four and a half stars and with glowing comments.

This exact situation has been identified by two marketing professors Michael McCollough and Sundar Bharadwaj, who call this the Service Recovery Paradox: “The service recovery paradox is the result of a very positive service recovery, causing a level of customer satisfaction and/or customer loyalty even greater than that expected if no service failure had happened”. The ideal of providing good quality customer service isn’t possible each and every time. Naturally, mistakes do happen, however what we can do is leverage the opportunity caused by the mistake to create a relationship with the client that is deeper, more trusting and more loyal.

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