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How NOT to Deal with Negative Reviews

No matter how hard you try to produce the best product on the market or provide the greatest service in your industry, one thing remains consistent: There will always be haters. We at VIPorbit Software have received all types of App Store reviews, from raves to rants. While product reviews can be brutal, your response doesn’t have to be. Consider these three “don’ts” for dealing with bad reviews.

Don’t Take It Personally

One of the most difficult aspects of conducting business in today’s digital world is the dreaded bad review. Some are so scathing and derisive that it becomes difficult not to take them personally. By focusing on the nuggets of truth, rather than the “mean girl” wording, even the worst review can be turned from cutting criticism to helpful feedback. See every negative review for what it is—one person’s experience. Glean from it what you can, change what you can, and then move on.

Converting from foes to fans is only one aspect of our negative review response plan. Even a legitimate shortcoming is worth investigating further. Why? It’s important because we are always working to improve the Vipor CRM apps.

Don’t Get Defensive

In the world of iTunes and Mac App Store reviews, unfortunately reviewers’ identities are often masked behind anonymous usernames. This protects them from retaliatory behavior, but it also prevents an honest exchange of information. From our experience, often a user’s biggest complaint could be entirely avoided by enhanced product knowledge. All too frequently, though, instead of a quick search on our Support site, or submitting a ticket requesting personal assistance, a user gives up and blasts a negative review on the App Store.

VIPorbit CEO Mike Muhney attempts to contact reviewers personally. Even though he reaches out to those who have left both positive and negative experiences, he admittedly gives a little more weight to those who leave negative reviews. “It’s difficult not to be defensive about something you pour your heart and soul into creating, but the first thing I do is thank them for their time and try to get more details about their user experience,” said Muhney. With an emphasis of walking away from the conversation with steps we can take to improve our apps, it almost always results in a rating increase on the initial review. It’s not just a personal call that changes their mind, but usually their complaint was less about the product itself and more about not knowing how it worked or could work that suited their needs.

Don’t Forget Your Mission

At VIPorbit Software, we have a mission statement: People Matter. We also have a relationship statement: We believe in the infinite potential of closer relationships. In the age of digital business when usernames and anonymous comments are the norm, we at VIPorbit are still in the relationship management business. More importantly, we are in the business of reputation management.

The Vipor CRM app is more than an address book and calendar “on steroids,” as described by one journalist. Vipor provides a way for users to manage the perception others have of them. By recording contact details, scheduling follow-ups, and noting outcomes, Vipor users present themselves to others with exemplary professionalism. It would be a shame on our part not to model the same behavior when it comes to interacting with our users.


From our onboarding emails, to our Support site, to our webinars and one-on-one interactions with customers, we try in every way to help users have the best experience with Vipor CRM possible. When a user encounters app issues but doesn’t give us the opportunity to troubleshoot or provide support a bad review seems inevitable. What’s the most important piece of advice we can offer when faced with a negative review: Understand that you can’t win them all, but never stop trying to do just that.


By Mike Muhney and Kari Gates

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