Responding to Negative Reviews – A How-to Guide

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Have you ever got negative reviews? How did you respond to it?

No one likes to get negative reviews. It is even harder not to think of it nor to take them personally. Therefore, having the right strategy of how to respond to negative reviews is essential. Additionally, you can turn these negative reviews into positive reviews. Not sure how? Keep moving forward to discuss ways that negative reviews can help improve your business operations by conducting the right response steps and review the benefits of having an online review management platform.

You’ve Got a Negative Review, Now What?

In responding to negative reviews, you have to have effective plans in making sure that your customers are happy with your response. Below is a step-by-step process to respond to negative reviews that has proven effective:

  1. Apologize. This may be the hardest step to take as there is nothing more difficult than A: recognizing you or your business has done something wrong; and B: admitting that wrongdoing by apologizing to the offended party. However, by apologizing you show your customers that not only you do care about their experience but also that you listen to their feedback.
  2. Stay calm. The worst thing a business can do is to let the emotions get in the way. This is why we suggest making sure the person responding has some distance from the situation. This will prevent the response from sounding too defensive and make sure the situation isn’t further exacerbated.
  3. Offer a solution. Even more important than the apology is offering a proactive solution to the problems customers are facing. By giving solutions, it shows that you have put some thought into their reviews. Remember! It should not be a canned answer in which you only cut and paste. Make every response and solutions as personal and as authentic as it can be.
  4. Offer to speak privately. At last, you should offer to speak to them privately and refer them to a customer service manager or someone who can remediate the situation. It doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in transparency. In fact, it’s just easier to communicate over the phone or email than going back and forth on Google or Facebook. This will make sure the problem is quickly solved.


Negative Reviews Can Help Improve Your Business Operations

Some people might never realize that negative reviews are an important ingredient in improving your business operations. A negative review can shed some light on a problem employee or a process that isn’t working as well as you had hoped, and it will give you insights that you need to correct that problem in order to improve your business. Use negative reviews as a tool to create positive changes to your business and to help your business grows even bigger and better. Show your customer a little love and affections- you can turn the negative experiences into a positive one.

Customer Experience Feedback Loop

To help you respond to negative reviews – or positive reviews for that matter – we recommend you implement the Customer Experience Feedback Loop.

It’s a simple three-step process:
1. A transaction takes place and an online review is posted.

2. You take note of the review and respond if necessary.

3. If the review is positive, it reinforces the process is working. If the review is negative, you alter existing processes to improve customer experience.

Why Do You Need an Online Reviews Management Platform?

An online review management platform streamlines the collection and management of online reviews, which can improve local SEO standing, boost revenues, and help you maintain a stellar online reputation. The more frequently your customers review your business the less impact the stray negative review can have as it pushes the bad review further down on the list. As a result, consumers will give less attention to older reviews, especially when juxtaposed with the recent positive reviews.

In fact, 44% of consumers stated that reviews older than one month are no longer relevant. The more often your business has online reviews the better because it will give potential customers a more accurate representation of how your business is operating. Because of this, you should put in the effort to get the flywheel of online reviews moving. This will not only mitigate the effect negative reviews have on the perception of your business, but it will give your business positive momentum as consumers who find you online will see how passionate your customers are about the service you provide.


Negative reviews can be beneficial in growing your business. By responding to them correctly, you are able to turn the negative reviews into positive ones. Start by doing the four steps: apologize, stay calm, offer a solution and ask them to speak privately. After that, give your customers more attention and affection to give them positive experiences about your business. Lastly, have online reviews’ management platform to help you manage the online reviews to improve your business’ SEO and to help you gain more profits. If you’ve never implemented these step-by-step guides to respond to negative reviews, then now is the time.  Use the information we’ve provided to guide you.

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