Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to Handle Negative Reviews

How to handle Negative reviews

Nobody likes to receive bad reviews but you only need to look at review sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp, to see that even the most iconic five star establishments are not immune to reviewer’s wrath.

That’s the problem with reviews; they’re completely subjective and are dependent upon so many factors outside our control, for example people’s previous experiences of a product or service with other brands, people’s expectations or even if they’re just having a bad day.  But there’s no such thing as a bad review, so see it as an opportunity to demonstrate your excellent levels of customer care, and also, where prudent, take actions to make positive changes within your company to benefit other customers going forwards.

Certainly there’s a multitude of things that can be done to limit the occurrence of negative comments and reviews, but when they do arise the way you deal with them will determine how successful the outcome is.

  1. Deal with it head on – the review isn’t going to go away and the longer it festers the more people will see it. So, no matter how menial you find the complaint, investigate its legitimacy then address it with a reply and nip it in the bud before it escalates. You don’t want unhappy customers taking their reviews to other audiences on other sites.
  2. Speed is paramount – the speed at which you reply is crucial as it is a direct reflection on how important your business views its customer service. With only an estimated 25% of consumers leaving reviews it’s likely they have strong feelings one way or the other to prompt their comment so the quicker you can put out a fire the better. Aim to respond within 24 hours. This will mean routine monitoring of review sites; however it is time well spent and is a good business decision.
  3. Remain professional – it’s all too easy to take negative comments and criticism to heart. Remain calm, keep all responses professional and don’t make excuses or deflect blame.  Try to be empathetic and take time to understand the reviewer’s point of view. Also it’s important to consider who the response will come from.  A response from a Director will hold more weight as you will be seen to be taking the comments seriously.
  4. Take the conversation off line – although you should make an online response for the world to see, it’s best to take things off line as quickly as possible to avoid an argument ensuing. Acknowledge their complaint then give them the details of how they can reach you so that you can try and rectify the problem directly with them. Once the problem has been rectified, provide an update online stating how the matter has been dealt with.  This will give confidence to potential customers.
  5. Don’t ‘copy and paste’ a response – how to really annoy a reviewer and a sure-fire way to lose their business for good.  I’m stunned at the number of companies that think this is acceptable.  It’s just plain lazy.  If someone has take the time to write a review the least you can do is take the time to provide a well thought, original response that deals with their individual issues and disputes.


At the end of the day, you’re never going to make everyone happy all of the time, however, your response in such a public forum will affect the purchasing decisions of many potential customers.  You should encourage your customers to leave reviews and if you’re doing things right the good ones will far outweigh the bad.


Team Building Skills

Many Teamwork People Join Colorful Hand

Team building! The two words we just love to hear in the office!


OK, so there may be a few eye rolls here and there, or a comment or two that are probably best not repeated, but stand strong team leaders and go forth with your team building plans, for team building is a process that can literally transform the productivity of your department.

Attention team leaders

One of the most important things to establish as team leader is leadership and trust with employees. Equally important is the ability to encourage trust and cooperation among team members. Once this has been achieved there are a number of team building activities that can be carried out to encourage employees to share information, communicate effectively with each other, and form a more cohesive unit in general. A good team leader will pay close attention to employees and the way they work with others in order to identify and select team building activities that may prove to be beneficial.

Team building ideas 

A simple Google search is all you need for inspiration. There really is something for everyone! Fun days, sports days, treasure hunts, murder mystery evenings, race nights, casino nights, giant games and so much more. If you remember the 1990’s TV show, ‘The Crystal Maze’, you may want to take a look at The Team Building Company’s ‘The Crystal Challenge’. Sadly, Richard O’ Brian doesn’t join you on this one, however, ‘The Crystal Maze’ (the actual Crystal Maze) is set to return to our TV screens next year! And, the show is open to a range of applicants including businesses, educational groups, teams, clubs and more! Visit to find out more. The team building bar would be well and truly set if this activity was pulled out of the bag!

Team building skills in-house

On a more practical, and possibly more realistic, note there are a number of less extravagant team building skills that are easy to apply in-house covering trust, communication, individual and team values and goals, and more. Business Balls, is a fantastic online resource that offers innovative ideas, exercises, tools, templates and materials to help with the planning of activities for: attitudes and motivation, team building and bonding, creativity, relationships, ice breakers and much, much more. By collecting feedback from team members along the way, team leaders will be able to monitor progress and improve team building activities and strategy to achieve greater results.

Conflict in camp?

Negativity within the workforce is the obvious reason for bringing out the team building card. Maybe there are conflicts between members of staff, complaints to heads of departments, or just an overall lack of motivation within the team. Whatever the reason, it’s important to note that team building shouldn’t only be considered as a response to a negative situation. In fact, many team leaders schedule periodical meetings to organise team building activities as a method of maintaining moral and boosting motivation. Periodical meetings can also be carried out to help identify and define skills necessary for employees within the workforce such interpersonal, technical skills, professional, conceptual skills, decision making etc.

Unity within the workforce

The ultimate goal for team leaders is to unite employees and drive motivation. A workforce that communicates well, respects each other and understands their roles and objectives is more likely to meet and exceed their targets. Whether team building has been used to help iron out the creases of a problematic workforce, or used as a tool to maintain and boost motivation, a long-term team building strategy can certainly be for the greater good.