How to Handle Bad Reviews

Have you ever tried something that just didn’t go the way you had hoped and turned into a bad experience? Sometimes we can ignore them, others we feel propelled to let others know about our horrible encounters. We all come across these events in our lives not matter the person, place, or thing of focus. Bad customer service; blast them on social media. Malfunctioning product; unpleasant reviews on company website. Read a lackluster novel; ream the author out on GoodReads.bad-reviews-online-yelp

There is no easy way to handle harsh reviews, but I have come up with a few steps to help my fellow providers of any product or service to come out stronger after such abuse. Before we begin, I want to be clear that there is a very real difference between constructive criticism and plain rude comments. Constructive criticism is exactly that, a positive offering from a consumer to help strengthen the seller’s position within any market. Malicious reviews do not fall in this category, and sometimes can be a little hard to swallow. This is where my focus will fall because constructive criticism is part of everyday life, so we should be acclimated to these types of comments whereas verbal lashings for most are a bit further and farther in between.

*Disclaimer: I am an author, so this will be geared more towards my colleagues, but all suppliers are welcomed to cite whatever piece they find valuable from this post.

1. Read the comments with an open mind.

Do not attempt to read reviews or listen to customers with a turbulent or distracted mind. Whatever is going on in another part of your life, whatever has previously upset you either work related or otherwise, forget about it for all of the amount time it is going to take you to complete this process before reading/hearing any sort of cruel negative feedback. Clear your mind, steel it if you are new to this process, and continue to the next step.

2. Don’t take it personal.

Remember the first step. Read the comments with an open mind and don’t take it personal. I of all people know that this is hard to do especially when a reviewer is literally dragging your name through the mud, but we have to remember that to them whatever product or service they were provided with did not meet expectations and therefore has let them down. This can be heightened dramatically as the cost to the consumer is higher. No matter what the reviewer has said, don’t take it personally, and continue on.

3. Find the constructive pieces.

Unless the customer is literally just throwing profanities and cursing your very existence, during these times of frustration, we all just want our voices heard. Again, if the reviewer is just lamenting that you occupy space on this planet, it is best just to ignore it and/or advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points. If the consumer is frustrated, but still explaining why pertaining to the product, then there is hope for something constructive and possibly a lesson to be learned. It may be hard to sieve through some of the not so helpful points, but again, remember our previous steps and focus on what can be helpful advice.

4. Do not respond.

This may be equally hard to do, but specifically to my fellow authors, do not respond! Unless you are on the phone or in person with the disgruntled customer, do not respond. List out the constructive points as you read the statements with an open mind. Even if you think you have the end-all-be-all comeback, do not respond. This is about learning to find what is helpful to better yourself in the future.

Revert to the previous step if you are face to face with an unhappy consumer: advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points, and if it does contain such points, acknowledge them, but do not offer excuses or explanations. Just listen and give their concerns merit. Do not take anything said to you to heart. Remember, it isn’t personal. They just want to be heard.

5. Remember that you are not perfect.

No one on this planet is perfect. We all perform the same mundane tasks every day between bathroom usage and clothing rituals. You will never make everyone happy no matter the product or service you provide, but we can at least continue to understand that there is always room for growth and use these scenarios to our advantage. If a reviewer says that your story lacks dialog, try to add more in your next. If a customer states that your product brakes too easily at this certain piece, evaluate their concern and strive to make it better. We can take these moments of criticism and strive to make ourselves. Not perfect, but better.

6. Grow.

We are all human, and life is a continuous saga of learning lessons. Be the bigger person, and better yourself from the experience. Take what you can from each lesson, and let the rest go. (Not to sound too “Frozen”-y.) Everything we do, we can get better with practice and determination. Never give up, just accept this new challenge and rise above it.

My husband will look at me at times and ask how I can stand to see some ill-intended comments. My answer is always that I take them and choose to grow from them. I refuse to let it get me down because then what does that accomplish. We all have too choose to be better, to strive for more, and with each new project, that is exactly what I do. In a way, I guess I am breaking one of my own rules with this post, but to all who have provided feedback on any of my works, I thank you for helping me reach for higher heights, and I will always strive for greater.

Let me know of any tips that I may have left out, or different ways you may cope with such comments. If you just need a listening ear, I am here for that also!

Last Chance for the Alyeska Giveaway!

Today is the last day! If you haven’t received your free e-book copy of Alyeska yet, here’s how you can take advantage of this giveaway: click the below link to “buy” your e-book copy on Amazon, and enjoy! It’s that easy.

And hopefully by the time you have finished Alyeska, spring will finally be upon us!

All I ask, my dear fellow readers, is to rate and review Alyeska as you wish.

Thank you to every single one of you for the constant support, and I hope you enjoy a romance nestled in the mountains of Alyeska, Alaska.alyeskacover

Grab your copy here! – (Amazon link)

The Alyeska Ski Resort and Spa near Anchorage, Alaska is known for its beautiful mountains, relaxing environment, and delicious dining, but for Kayleigh Wilson, a trip to the frozen tundra was meant to offer so much more. After a past full of pain, she lived her life based on how little she had to feel, so when her brother offered a weekend trip to the resort where no one even knew her name, she jumped at the opportunity. For Kayleigh, this trip was exactly what she needed to put herself back in the game of dating and romance, but she never planned on meeting a man who could actually alleviate her past and allow her to experience every emotion she had shut off so long ago. Benjamin Thomas, the man who awakens her heart from hibernation, is full of his own pain, but in his mind, some secrets are better left unshared. As Kayleigh faces her past and confronts Ben’s, she fights to keep herself from falling back into the darkness of unfeeling, but it may be at a price she isn’t willing to pay.

Check out this link for an excerpt of Alyeska.

Don’t Miss This Giveaway of Alyeska!

I can’t thank all of those who have downloaded a free copy of my latest e-book Alyeska enough. Your continued support is why I continue doing what I do. Hopefully you are warm in your home, curled up with hot coffee or cocoa, and your copy of Alyeska! I’m definitely in a cuddly mood in my PJ’s and coffee.

If you haven’t grabbed your e-copy yet, don’t miss your chance! You have until Friday! Here’s how you can take advantage of this giveaway: click the below link to “buy” your e-book copy on Amazon, and enjoy! It’s that easy.

All I ask, my dear fellow readers, is to rate and review Alyeska as you wish.

Thank you to every single one of you for the constant support, and I hope you enjoy a romance nestled in the mountains of Alyeska, Alaska.alyeskacover

Grab your copy here! – (Amazon link)

The Alyeska Ski Resort and Spa near Anchorage, Alaska is known for its beautiful mountains, relaxing environment, and delicious dining, but for Kayleigh Wilson, a trip to the frozen tundra was meant to offer so much more. After a past full of pain, she lived her life based on how little she had to feel, so when her brother offered a weekend trip to the resort where no one even knew her name, she jumped at the opportunity. For Kayleigh, this trip was exactly what she needed to put herself back in the game of dating and romance, but she never planned on meeting a man who could actually alleviate her past and allow her to experience every emotion she had shut off so long ago. Benjamin Thomas, the man who awakens her heart from hibernation, is full of his own pain, but in his mind, some secrets are better left unshared. As Kayleigh faces her past and confronts Ben’s, she fights to keep herself from falling back into the darkness of unfeeling, but it may be at a price she isn’t willing to pay.

Check out this link for an excerpt of Alyeska.

You Get A Copy! You Get A Copy!

That’s right, my friends! I’m taking a page out of Oprah’s book, and sharing the wealth with you. For five days only, my latest novel Alyeska will be yours for free! You heard me: FREE!oprah-free-car

Here’s how you can grab your e-book copy starting March 13: click the below link to “buy” your e-book copy on Amazon, and enjoy! It’s that easy.

All I ask, my dear fellow readers, is to rate and review Alyeska as you wish.

Thank you to every single one of you for the constant support, and I hope you enjoy a romance nestled in the mountains of Alyeska, Alaska.

Grab your copy here! – (Amazon link)

The Alyeska Ski Resort and Spa near Anchorage, Alaska is known for its beautiful mountains, relaxing environment, and delicious dining, but for Kayleigh Wilson, a trip to the frozen tundra was meant to offer so much more. After a past full of pain, she lived her life based on how little she had to feel, so when her brother offered a weekend trip to the resort where no one even knew her name, she jumped at the opportunity. For Kayleigh, this trip was exactly what she needed to put herself back in the game of dating and romance, but she never planned on meeting a man who could actually alleviate her past and allow her to experience every emotion she had shut off so long ago. Benjamin Thomas, the man who awakens her heart from hibernation, is full of his own pain, but in his mind, some secrets are better left unshared. As Kayleigh faces her past and confronts Ben’s, she fights to keep herself from falling back into the darkness of unfeeling, but it may be at a price she isn’t willing to pay.

Check out this link for an excerpt of Alyeska.

Black Sails Season 4 Episode 6

black-sails-tv-series-on-starz-cancelled-no-season-fiveI’m not OK with this series, either, only for entirely separate reasons than my feelings for The Walking Dead. Black Sails is slowly pushing me away as the finale nears, and I am so desperately trying to hang on! There were so many moments in this episode that I literally yelled at the TV, startling my husband, that this is not how the ending of this show should go! I had a completely different vision for the ending of this show, and this is not it! I’m hoping as the show approaches the series finale that everything will start to fall into place to at least resemble something along the lines of what I had anticipated, something that sort of looks like the preface to Treasure Island, because right now, I don’t see it.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge

125-hacksaw-ridgeI love this movie! Regardless your feelings towards Mel Gibson who directed the film, if you enjoy war movies, movies about historical events, or even just courageous people performing heroic deeds, this movie is a must see! Mind you, there is a lot of death, destruction, and carnage as it is set in World War II – Asian theatre, and our hero is a military medic. If that is not your cup of tea then you may want to just do your research on Hacksaw Ridge and Private Doss rather than watch this film.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Book Review: How To Catch A Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

23006658How to Catch a Wild Viscount
Author: Tess Dare
Rating: 4

Overview: Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, returned from war a changed man. Battle stripped away his civility and brought out his inner beast. There is no charm or tenderness in him now; only dark passions and a hardened soul. He has nothing to offer the starry-eyed, innocent girl who pledged her heart to him four years ago.

But Cecily Hale isn’t a girl any longer. She’s grown into a woman–one who won’t be pushed away. She and Luke are guests at a house party when a local legend captures their friends’ imaginations. While the others plunge into the forest on a wild goose…er, stag chase, Cecily’s on the hunt for a man. She has only a few moonlit nights to reach the real Luke…the wounded heart she knows still beats inside the war-ravaged body…or she could lose him to the darkness forever.

This is a novella of approximately 20,000 words, or 80 pages. It was originally published under the title The Legend of the Werestag.

Review: As a working mother in school and a whole bunch more responsibilities and must do’s, it is rare that I actually get a moment to read a novel these days, so novellas are my jam right now. They are just long enough to really feel a connection to the story and its characters, but short enough that I can actually read most of them in one sitting when I actually have the time.

I have read many of Tessa Dare’s historical romances in the past and this novel does not disappoint. A steamy romance with a back story of innocent love, add in a bit of magic and unrequited love, and you have a beautiful quick read. The romance was definitely steamy and well written, but every time there was a moment between the two lovebirds, it would immediately end with an argument or hurt feelings. I understand Luke was trying to push her away, but what about the after-glow? Can’t there be just a moment where he allowed himself to revel in the moment?

My only other comment would be on the actual historical aspect of the novel. I feel like that is a loose subcategory for this novel as the only real bit of history is the date and war Luke fought in. It really did not affect the story, mind you, but it just felt a little forced rather than just a setting piece.

Now the Werestag bit was very interesting. I would love to see a fan fiction or even have Tess Dare do a piece on this idea. Maybe have it be written by Portia. That would be a very interesting read. I haven’t read a paranormal book in a while!

Black Sails Episode 404

Let’s do this! black-sails-tv-series-on-starz-cancelled-no-season-five

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

There is something really wrong and off about what is going on in the most recent episodes since Jack and crew’s capture. I just don’t understand how they can be so resolved to being the Governor’s prisoners. It just seemed like their surrender was too easy, too simple. There has to be a greater plan!

Well, after this episode, I am having a very hard time believing in my own theory. The Governor has Blackbeard’s Man O’War Queen Anne’s Revenge and more than half of the crew was slaughtered in the belly of the Governor’s ship as Jack slowly picked each member to fight until death. This storyline is really irritating me at how basic it is. If there really is no greater plan than to die and/or be turned over to the English in the New World, then I have no faith for the last episode of this series or just the overall story ending as a whole.

John is really playing up his part as Long John Silver and throwing his weight around, but as always, Flint one up’s him. Flint giving himself over, promising Eleanor the Urca cash, is another silly decision. How the heck does it tie in with Treasure Island? If it is to be a true origin story to Treasure Island, then Flint won’t be giving her the prize, but as we have seen in Blackbeard’s death, Black Sails isn’t totally true to the epic novel. I just can’t understand why he would make this promise to Eleanor without having a slip knot in the tie.

There was a scene of an absolute grotesque beating. I don’t do well with torture. This beating was because the Underhill plantation had been taken by Billy’s crew and to show the other slaves what would happen should they rise up. Well, that kind of backfired because they did just that. Led by Julis (I believe his name is), slaves are now rising against the British, but also against the pirates with the sole mission to take Nassau for themselves. Why bring in a new foe this late in the game?

The exchange between Eleanor and Max after she is traded for twenty pirates is odd to me. Eleanor asks Max where they would have gone had she said yes when they had been together. I can’t help, but think that Eleanor is somehow regretting or weighing her options for escaping Nassau or taking it back from the pirates. The only thing that really throws a wrench in my theory is that she’s pregnant! I really don’t understand why they would throw this in the mix. It makes no sense unless her mindset is changing to survival mode for her child rather than desire to control Nassau which might be happening with this character since she made the deal with Flint.

I can’t say that I am particularly happy with how this season is playing out especially since there seems to be no real direction or plan deeper than controlling Nassau. In past episodes, it just seemed that so much more was at play between the crews and the strong-willed captains. Now it just seems so generic. I’m hoping I’m wrong and there is more that I am not seeing going on. On to the next!

 

The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere

I have been a fan of The Walking Dead since the beginning. Rick Grimes is my dude, and Carl is my boy. When the show first began, I was hooked hard and couldn’t wait for each episode. There have been a few very disturbing scenes as well as lackluster screen writing along the way, but ultimately, I have remained loyal to the show up until recently.

During the whole Glenn debacle, I have honestly felt a little stung by the franchise that they would treat their fans that way, but they always find a way to drag me back. Since the entire gory scene in the woods, Negan has really come into his role as the new big bad even with some not so villainy lines, and he has become the sole reason I have come back to the show following this mid-season break.the-walking-dead-season-7-rick-lincoln-michonne-gurira-cci-key-art-1200x707-1

Seriously, though, these writers are not doing this series any favors right now. Did you hear some of the lines in the subject episode? CORNY! Rick gets back to Alexandria, and he and Sasha exchange like three words that are the epitome of cheesy acting. I don’t fault the actors though because I know what they are capable of, but the writings is taking a turn for the worse.

I just hope Negan sticks around long enough to carry the show for a little while. For an older than me gentleman, he is very attractive even with his cocky, domineering attitude. He is really hitting his role for me as of recently, but maybe I am just trying to fill the hole Daryl has left due to their lack of designated time to the beautiful Norman Reedus. Sigh.