How to Respond to Negative Reviews

by Emily Caddell | Director of Marketing

Negative reviews happen to every business. Whether a review is a legitimate complaint or not, it’s important that your business responds. Ideally, your business should take the time to respond to every review, but especially to negative reviews. If you have received a negative review but you’re not sure where to start, here are some simple tips:

  1. Keep calm. If a negative review is posted about your business, it’s easy to get defensive and upset by the comment. Take some time before responding so that you don’t let emotions get in the way of an appropriate, well thought out response.
  1. Find out the facts. Discuss the incident with your team to determine what actually happened that upset the customer, or potential customer. Knowing the facts can help you determine the correct response. 
  1. Be empathetic. Empathize with the customer and their frustrations. Apologizing to the customer in an empathetic way shows that you care about the customer and you care about making it right.
  1. Take responsibility. Don’t make excuses about what happened. Acknowledge the customers feelings and also reassure the customer that you will hold your company to a higher standard in the future. Customers want to be reassured that your business will admit their faults and always work to improve.
  1. Fix it. If you can fix the complaint in a helpful way, then do so. Offer a discount, a redo, or just a discussion with the customer to help improve the situation. If you fix it and the customer accepts, kindly ask them to update their review. Don’t offer to fix it IF they will change their review, but rather ask them after you have fixed the issue to ask them to change it.
  1. Use a response template. If the negative review is something simple, you can use this template to keep it short and appropriate. You can use this basic template and adjust it as necessary to make it relevant to the actual review. 

“Dear [NAME], thanks for sharing your feedback with us. We’re very sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations. We understand your frustration and we promise to do better.

Please feel free reach out to [CONTACT INFORMATION] with any further comments, concerns, or suggestions you wish to share. We would love to make things right if you give us another chance.”

  1. Bury the review. Ask happy customers to go and give you a positive review, especially on the platform that the negative review was posted on. When you get more positive reviews, the negative review will be less likely to stand out.

Don’t let a negative review put too much stress on your business. Responding appropriately and encouraging your staff to use customer feedback to improve is the best way to move forward.

If your business needs help managing reviews or getting more positive reviews, contact today to schedule your free consultation.

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