Hug Your Haters: How to Turn Bad Reviews into Your Competitive Advantage

Last modified on June 21st, 2024

When it comes to customer service and online reputation management, the absolute worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all. Negative feedback is inevitable, regardless of your business and what you sell. Your response to negativity, however, will determine the success of your property management business.

Consider a situation where a frustrated customer writes a bad online review of your business. Responding with a sincere apology and willingness to listen increases customer advocacy in a public forum. Not only will this mitigate the complaint, it will positively portray the level of customer service that your business offers.

80% of Americans trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family, so publicly responding to criticism is crucial.

Negative feedback comes in two forms: public criticism on blogs and review sites, or private messages from dissatisfied customers in the form of emails and phone calls.

90% of customers sending private messages expect a formal response to their complaint while their public counterparts do not expect much.

Currently, ⅓ of all complaints are made on public websites or social media platforms. This number is expected to increase as younger generations grow up immersed in the internet and social media. Respond to any and all negative feedback, no matter the venue or the complaint.

How to “Hug Your Haters” to improve your online reputation management skills:

  • Never respond to a “troll” more than twice. Politely end the conversation and suggest they contact you offline.
  • Answer every complaint, in every channel, every time.
  • When someone posts a positive comment, reward them with a gift card if they bring in a new customer!
  • Respond to positive comments as well as negative. Show your reviewers you are listening and appreciate them.
  • Reviews impact your search engine results in a major way – the more positive reviews the more visibility you get in Google.
  • Don’t take reviews personally, even when the negative reviewer makes it so. Remember, they might be having the worst day of their lives so recognize and empathize.
  • Respond fast! How quickly you respond is important in satisfying the “hater” and keeping the thread from spiraling out of control.

Hug Your Haters: How to Turn Bad Reviews into Your Competitive Advantage Webinar

In a recent webinar featuring Jay Baer (founder, author, strategist, and keynote speaker on all things marketing and customer service) he shared insight into how to manage your business’ online reputation. Jay’s mantra to “Hug Your Haters” symbolizes the optimal approach to online reputation management. According to his research, 95% of dissatisfied customers never actually take the time to complain in a way that the business can find. By responding to the 5% that do, you can get a better understanding of how to improve your business while also improving your relationship with customers. With hilarious real-life examples of negative online reviews and incredible tricks to spin criticism in your favor, this webinar is not to be missed! Check out the slides and recording below:



Jay’s new book Hug Your Haters comes out in early 2016! Be sure to check out for more information.

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