The Good News Is That 'Bad News' Can Actually Be 'Good News'

Is it really true that learning of bad news can actually be good news? According to the most successful operators in our high-hospitality based Serviced Workspace industry, it’s absolutely true. Hearing or reading bad reviews and complaints isn’t something to shy away from, get defensive about, be traumatized over, and then sweep under the rug. A negative review is an opportunity, if we know how to handle it.

It might take an adjustment to one’s philosophical approach in order to see the full value and benefits of complaints and bad reviews; but the last thing you want to do is dismiss them, or worse yet, shoot the messenger. Don’t take what’s often a hidden gift from a reviewer and turn it into an irreversible fiasco just so that you can prove you’re right – or worse yet, that the client or reviewer is wrong.

It’s not true that ‘the customer is always right’ – but it is absolutely undeniable that the customer is always ‘the customer.’ As such, they’re capable of doing quite damaging things if their complaints go unaddressed, especially in today’s social media and review-manic universe.

But here is the really, really good news. That same capacity to cause viral harm can also be a great source to cause viral good. If you’re talking about reversing bad reviews and complaints, you actually have a chance to help yourself immensely, and the bad review(er) can wind up being the best thing that ever happened to you. Here’s how…

It starts with a positive, empowering, philosophical approach – one that recognizes instantly and with conviction that a bad review or complaint is actually an opportunity to be heroic, customer service-wise, that comes at you disguised as, well, as a bad review that might not feel so great, and can even cause you embarrassment or lost business.

The winning approach, attitude, and philosophy when dealing with bad reviews includes a personal acknowledgement of the following:

  • The reviewer, critic, or complainer could have simply kept quiet and not reported their grievance in a way for the world, including you, to see. By publicizing their concerns or disappointment, they are handing you, on a silver platter, the ability to handle it right, professionally, and in a way that makes the reviewer and you come out smelling like a rose, for the world to see.
  • ‘Bad News’ is essentially free focus-group feedback of the best and most valuable kind. It’s sending you a signal based on their experience, that something truly might be wrong or not up to snuff, and that more customers beyond the reviewer, could be picking up on, and you risk losing their business if you don’t correct or improve it.
  • A disappointed or unsatisfied customer is a great ambassador of you and your business waiting to happen. They have already proven that they’re committed enough to go the extra mile and complain/review publicly, as opposed to quietly damaging your reputation and business. You can turn the tables instantly, with sensitivity, showing honest concern, and with a whole lot of humility and appreciation.


Bad reviews, just like verbal complaints, require similar treatment:

  • First, an acknowledgment of the concern with a verbal or posted statement -- a pledge for all to see that you will listen and investigate the nature of the complaint. Show the reviewer, and the world, the utmost courtesy and your determination to resolve the situation.
  • State that their business and your standards are important to you, and that you will work in earnest to find a satisfactory explanation and solution.
  • Review the concern carefully and with an open mind, and find the solution plus a way to make them right while reaffirming your appreciation and commitment to excellence.


The incident or reason for their complaint is relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The relationship, and maintaining it in a dignified, professional tone and manner is of much greater importance. Turning negative reviews into a positive is something that’s actually much more attainable than you think, especially if you jump on them quickly, and as long as you regard dissatisfied reviewers as vital and potentially golden for the maintenance your image, brand, reputation and business.

It’s not whether the reviewer or you are wrong that you should be zeroing in on, but rather whether the client, and all the actual and potential clients behind that client, are noticing you handling the issue and aggrieved gracefully and in a dignified manner. Seizing the opportunity to reverse the potential bad and unfair publicity is much more important than who’s right or wrong by starting from the position that they might be right, and treating them right even if you feel differently.

Bad reviews and reviewers are gems, even those whose assessments feel off-base. Work to make them right anyway, and learn from their criticisms. They are never 100% wrong, and quite often, they’re more right than you’ll ordinarily give them credit for.

If you are looking for help managing your customer phone calls, complaints or not, Davinci Virtual Live Receptionist Services gives you the power to maximize your businesses potential with low overhead costs.

Learn more by visiting www.davincivirtual.com or calling 888-863-3423.


Subscribe to Our Blog

Archive Show Archives