When Online Review Responses Go Wrong: How Not To Respond

online-shoppingNow that online review sites like Yelp and CitySearch have been around for a while, your business has likely learned (or hired someone with experience) how to manage and monitor these sites successfully. By now, you know the importance of claiming your business on popular review sites and how responding to online reviews, both positive and negative, can heighten your company's success with consumers.

While you may know the importance of responding quickly and respectfully, some companies did not realize the importance of online review etiquette. The following are examples of online review responses gone wrong.

Boners BBQ Bashes Customer

A customer named Stephanie went to Boners BBQ in Atlanta, Georgia. After her visit, she wrote a negative review about the company on Yelp. The owner of Boners BBQ wasn't too happy about the review, so he turned to Facebook and generated a post attacking Stephanie, accusing her of not leaving a tip, calling her a bitch, and telling readers to tell her to "go [expletive] herself". Clearly, this post went viral and caused some bad press for Boners BBQ. They have since issued an apology to Stephanie.

Advanced Chiropractic Center Sues Their Reviewer

In 2007, a customer named Christopher turned to Yelp and left a bad review about Advanced Chiropractic Center, claiming that the company provided false information to insurers and used dishonest billing practices. Instead of handling the review appropriately, Advanced Chiropractic Center decided to take things to another level and sued Christopher for libel, stating the review hurt his reputation and business. This tactic generated plenty of poor publicity for Advanced Chiropractic Center, and the two eventually settled.

Boundless Yoga Uses Incentive for Good Reviews

Boundless Yoga in Washington DC wanted to outnumber the bad reviews with good reviews, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. They offered to give their customers a free yoga class if they wrote a good review for the company. In order to prove the deed was done, the customer was to email a link to the review to Boundless Yoga.

While Boundless Yoga may not have attacked a certain customer, they invoked poor practices by asking customers to write fake reviews, which obviously discredited the company's image.

Celebrity Chef Claude Bosi Tweets His Rage

Celebrity Chef Claude Bosi isn't used to bad reviews, so when non-famous yet local food critic James Isherwood gave the chef a poor review, Bosi took to Twitter to attack him. He used Twitter to tell Isherwood that he will never gain respect from any real chefs while Isherwood told him to buck up and take the poor review like a man. And since this occurred on Twitter, it was visible for all to see, and others even got involved, jumping to the defense of both men.

When it comes to online reviews, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about responding to those reviews you don't like. Obviously, the examples listed here are the wrong way to go about handling an online review, at least if you want to keep your reputation intact.

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