Industry 

Cannabis industry information for businesses including tips, news, and advice for dispensaries.

How to Respond to a Negative Dispensary Review

So, it happened. You just checked your store’s page on Leafly and an unhappy visitor left a terrible review of your business. You’re angry. This review is in no way an accurate reflection of your business. So, now what? What’s your next course of action?

The good news is you navigated to this resource, so you’re already on the right track. Leafly provides a way for visitors to directly communicate with store owners and employees. Like all review sites, you can’t expect every review to be positive, and we understand you can feel frustrated or offended by negative comments. This guide on how to respond to a negative review should help you address any negative feedback or comments in a professional and calm manner.

Here are eight basic things to consider as you respond to a bad review:

1. Pay Attention to Language and Tone

As you write your response, stay away from sensational language. Avoid profanity and emotionally charged language. If you sound angry in your response, your reviewer might feel like they have even more of a reason to dislike your dispensary or business. Have someone review what you have written to ensure that you come across in a kind and professional manner.

2. Remember That Leafly is a Professional Site

Your interaction with visitors is a reflection of your business. Responding poorly to a review causes you to lose the reviewer as a customer or patient, and it also runs the risk of making your business look bad to potential visitors.

3. Don’t Argue with the Reviewer

Visitors leave negative reviews when they feel their needs have not been met. Arguing or emotionally responding to a reviewer only enforces their original opinion of your business. Rather than arguing with a reviewer, determine what’s bothering them. If it’s something you can fix, apologize for the inconvenience, assure them that you’re looking into the matter, thank them for their honest feedback, and invite them to give your business a second try. If the reviewer has complained about a factor you can’t control, calmly explain the circumstances or try to educate them so they can better understand the situation and are accurately informed.

4. Turn the Negative Review into a Positive One

A negative review can be turned into a positive one with an appropriate response. What started off as a terrible review can be turned around through kindness and good customer service. Even if you can’t win back the business of the original reviewer, others will take note of how you respond to disgruntled clients and may be impressed with how you handled the situation.

5. Sometimes No Response is Needed

If someone submits an unfavorable review, sometimes it’s better to leave the review alone and focus on creating a better experience for future visitors. If you provide quality customer service and operate an inviting business, good reviews will overcome the bad. Give reviewers who have had a positive experience a loyalty card and encourage them to leave a review that highlights the great service they received.

6. Criticisms are Good Feedback on Improving Your Business

No matter how ridiculous a review may seem, take each criticism as a way to understand your business’ strengths and weaknesses. Negative reviews can sometimes highlight areas of improvement or ways you can offer a better experience for your visitors. Even though the feedback may sting a bit, try to look at it from a business perspective and determine if there’s some constructive criticism that can help your establishment become stronger and more successful.

7. Report Personal Attacks, Inappropriate Remarks, or Abuse

Leafly will not remove or edit a review just because a retailer doesn’t like it, but we will take down reviews that reveal personal information (for example, if a disgruntled reviewer posted your personal contact information and encouraged others to harass you), contain personal attacks or inappropriate remarks (such as “The owner sucks and probably f**** his dog”), or is otherwise abusive and doesn’t offer any constructive or useful feedback. If any negative reviews fall under these categories, please flag it so we can determine whether it’s inappropriate and needs to be edited or removed. Once again, however, keep in mind that visitors have the right to have their voices heard on our site, so negative reviews that contain valid criticism will not be altered or removed.

8. Address Their Specific Concerns if Possible

While a review might not be written in a manner you would like, try to see past the tone and focus on the actual content. An angry person may still have something important to say; you just have to filter out the shouting to get to the crux of the feedback. If you’re able to hone in on what exactly is bothering the reviewer and can address it appropriately, you may win that person back and even gain a few more in the process.

photo credit: Taylor Dawn Fortune via photopin cc