Thoughts & Ideas

November 5, 2013

How To Respond To Negative Online Reviews

Negative ReviewsUnfortunately unlike with positive reviews, there is no need to solicit or ask for negative reviews, as you will get them from highly dissatisfied consumers.

These clients will be more than happy to post their reviews online to warn the online community about their bad experience.

To compensate for the terrible experience they had, make sure to provide them with the feedback, so they know that you listen to their woes and have plans to improve the service.


When answering negative reviews, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Never get defensive. Focus on the issue they have and ignore the discouraging words altogether.
  • Contact the consumer privately. It’s best to communicate with them directly, so they feel your sincerity in fixing the problem right away.
  • Respond quickly. Do not let the problem linger for a while before addressing it. With your timely response they will most likely change their view on the experience as well. (get free monitoring and alerts for your online business reviews – sign up for free)

Negative reviews may feel discouraging, but look at them as a means to improve your business enterprise as whole. The more reviews on your products and services you receive, regardless of whether they are negative or positive, the more transparent and responsible your company will look. Once all issues are addressed and the corresponding measures are implemented, your company is bound to receive more positive reviews in the future.

Additional helpful tips from Google: (

Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Be nice. This isn’t just a guideline — it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Even customers who initially had a bad experience might come back! Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy
  2. Don’t get personal. Remember that you’re replying to feedback about an experience, not about you as a person. In addition, your response is public, and your business name will appear as the “Author” when you respond to the review. Reply in a way that addresses the overall experience, and remember that there’s a real person on the other end. If you believe the review violates the posting guidelines, please use the Flag as inappropriate link.
  3. Feedback is helpful. Both positive and negative feedback can be good for your business and help it grow (even though it’s sometimes hard to hear). A customer who has written a review has taken the time to invest in the success of your business. If you’ve made a business improvement based on a review, thank the user and share the change.
  4. Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
  5. Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers, not just one.
  6. Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business. Share a tip or something they might not know from their first visit.