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Have you ever had a negative review? I am sure you have. Are negative reviews common place for you? If you have experienced any of the above, then this post is for you.

Have you ever had a negative review? I am sure you have. Are negative reviews commonplace for you? If you have experienced any of the above, then this post is for you.

Have you identified what the crux of the matter is and how to fix it? Have you figured out how to manage and handle these negative reviews?  There are different things to consider when you are dealing with negative reviews. What are the reviews about? Who is the segment of your customers that are unhappy? How do you solve the core problem of the reviews? How do you handle unhappy clients? How do you turn the tide in your favour and change their perception even after you have addressed the issues?


Remember Domino’s Pizza?

There was a time things weren’t that rosy for them. They were embroiled in negative reviews of their pizza. They were inundated with many complaints that something had to be done or else they would have crumbled as a business.

When companies experience negative reviews especially when they go viral, if not handled well and immediately, they will lose market share to competitors.

Things are much more complicated now with the use of social media. Reviews go viral in only a matter of minutes. You just can’t afford to let things get out of hand.

For Domino’s Pizza, they found a way to take advantage of the negative reviews, handled it well and had a major turnaround for their business and brand.

They didn’t run away from the problem and pretend about it. They admitted there was a problem and told their customers they HEARD them, that they were LISTENING. They listened to all the complaints – “The crust is cardboard, the sauce is thin and tasteless, it’s not real cheese …”


Can you for a second imagine any company running Ads to tell the whole world about all the negative complaints they were receiving? All the negative reviews. Everything.

Crazy right?

Domino’s did exactly that.

They took control of the conversation. They controlled the narrative. They didn’t cover up anything. They were transparently honest about their problems. People may sometimes not be honest and open but most people love and are compassionate towards people who are honest and open about things. It’s human. That’s how we are wired.

Most companies would never admit things like this. They will try to cover it up or excuse it but Domino’s took this seriously and made dramatic improvements. “The crust, the sauce, the cheese, the whole product is better, and we think you’ll like it. Come try it and see.” They said after they worked on it.


Admit your flaw

Admitting your shortcomings as a business and offering a solution works better than hiding and pretending. Ever noticed that when there is a hack or breach in the data of any company, what really ticks people off is when such companies hide it and pretend it is nothing serious? Companies who immediately talk about the hack and keep the public informed about what they are doing to address it almost always come back up to win.

With Domino’s, within six months, sales were up about 17% company-wide, which is an extraordinary increase for a company of that size.

Domino’s admitted their flaws. They fixed the flaws. Little wonder they won at the end of the day.

Your challenge may not be a Domino sized one or may look different. The most important thing here are the principles of turning around the negative to positive. As simple as it may seem, it is something a lot of firms, companies and organizations don’t get right. You can apply the same principles if you ever face such a challenge in your practice to turn things around for you.


First things first. If you are genuinely disliked or criticized by clients for not doing something other lawyers do, admit the “flaw.”

What you can do after that is to work on it and turn it into an advantage. That is how to turn your negative reviews, complaints into more income or profit.


To get people to listen to you, talk about them instead. Listen to them and talk about them.

Nobody wants to hear all about you. Not even your best friend. They want to hear about themselves.

People do not care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Your prospective clients do not care about your service until they know you are interested in them and care about them.

When you speak to your prospective client, ask lots of questions to get them to talk about their problems, their pain points, and their desire for relief. The information gathered will help you in the process of diagnosing their problems, issues, challenges, and proffer adequate solutions and course correct all the complaints and negative reviews.


In April of 2009, Domino’s Pizza was a house that was about to crumble to the ground. They had reviews like “worst pizza I ever had.” “The sauce tastes like ketchup.” “The crust tastes like cardboard.”

Have you ever had such reviews where customers had lost confidence in your brand? Domino’s public perception was in the gutters. Within a week their ranking dropped to its lowest ever.

Domino’s had a turnaround by first making no excuses. They didn’t try to give discounts. They also didn’t try to smear the competition or compare themselves. They rather apologized and started working on a solution. They embraced the negative commentaries, worked on their pizzas and gave the world a try at what they came up with. It was a major victory for them.


Embrace feedback.

Make it really clear that you appreciate it. Protect your clients and prospects by admitting your flaws before someone else points them out and make sure you get to work to fix things. People love a great comeback story. Give them such a story, that is how you can turn your negative comments, complaints to more income.


To your success

Luke Ikekpolor

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