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April 9, 2024 73 mins

⭐ Deborah Deborah Deborah

When you've not been seen, heard, or understood.

Grab your popcorn - 🍿 we covered a buttery topic on today's podcast when a Canadian restaurant went viral for all the wrong review reasons. 🧈 Blaming Deborah in a now globally reaching door sign, Heirloom Restaurant closed its doors this April citing issues with... well, unhappy clients. 👨‍🍳


How did they handle it? 😠 Making unhappy clients even unhappier clients. 😡 Whether it was a staged publicity stunt or a business owner who had just finally had enough of Deborah and her depressing reviews - regardless, they're now shuttered - and here's a small... ahem... heirloom... we can take with us when it comes to replying to reviews.

(if you're as nosey as me and don't mind some colorful language - 🍅 google "heirloom restaurant Canada Reddit" and enjoy the rabbit hole).

🔟 10 Ways to Handle a Bad Review

First things first - how you handle bad reviews isn't a reflection on how well you bake - but rather how well you business. 🤝 Good business owners understand that a bad review can be a tool to secure more business. Lackluster business owners think it's a digital fight - and act accordingly - costing them time and money (even more they don't realize they're losing out on). 

  • 1️⃣ Understand that everyone will eventually get a bad review (or at least an unhappy client).

If we could please everyone what kind of person would that make us? See - the thing is, you can't please everyone - so fully come to terms with that, at some point, someone will be leaving you a bad review. It's just gonna happen - and once we accept that, we take away the emotion out of it. 

Repeat after me: "I am a business owner. I will get a bad review. That is okay. How I handle that review makes all the difference." 

  • 2️⃣ Walk away - 🕒 a minimum of 24 hours (the damage is already done. don't make it well done by replying in anger).

No one died from not getting a reply to their bad review in time. Thus, take your time in replying. Waiting, thinking, and letting the offended emotions dissipate will clear your mind when writing a reply to a bad review. The last thing we want is to take a page from Heirloom and make the bad, worse. 

  • 3️⃣ Write a rough draft reply - 🤓 then have a third uninvested party read it.

Write a rough draft - AND BEFORE YOU POST IT - have the least emotional person you know read it first. Ask them, "Does any part of this response sound emotional or defensive?" If they say yes - change that part. We want zero emotional replies here. If you get defensive at their critique... well, I got news for ya, kiddo.

  • 4️⃣ Lower your defenses. ️🥊

I can't stress this enough. Lower. Thy. Defenses. Listen - whether or not they're right - they are upset. Raising your defensiveness escalates every situation. Don't do it. If 24 hours wasn't enough to drop that cortisol level, take another 24-hour break until you calm down. Do not run your business on high alert - you'll make mistakes that'll be much harder to fix.

  • 5️⃣ Acknowledge their experience as valid. 🤝

This is a huge sticking point in the Sugar Cookie Marketing group. Validating how someone feels does not mean you agree with what they said. We are all allowed to feel how we feel (even if it's wrong). Validating an emotion looks like: "I know you're upset right now." 

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