How to effectively deal and respond to negative reviews

How to respond to negative reviews

Negative reviews are every business owners’ fear. It can potentially hamper a business’ success, ruin a brand’s reputation, and turn off potential customers. However, while it is indeed an unpleasant thing, there is some good in bad reviews.

This article will share how negative feedback can actually HELP your company and attract more customers. In addition, you’ll learn how to effectively deal and respond to negative reviews.

The good in bad reviews

Getting some not-so-good reviews can actually help your business and can boost the credibility of your online rating. Did you know that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see BOTH good and bad scores? Some negative reviews create balance and relatability.

A product or service with a complete 100% score may seem too good to be true. Worse, people may think that these are just paid reviews to boost ratings.

Why you should respond to bad reviews

To show people the other side of the story

If you don’t respond to a negative review, people and prospective customers will never know your side of the story. 

Responding to a bad or particularly nasty review from an angry customer doesn’t mean that you should also match their negative energy.


Try to be as objective as you can, express that you understand their point of view. Explain the situation according to how your company sees it. And, find a way to compromise.

A clear, swift, and apologetic response can change how the irate customer sees your brand. How you communicate your side of the story can determine if you’re going to lose a customer that day or not.

The good in bad reviews
The good in bad reviews

It gives you the chance to make things right

Picture this: A dissatisfied customer has posted a long and public rant on your company’s Facebook page. They explain how it took so long for them to receive your product when your page says it will only take three days.

When they received the products, they noticed that they only got 15 instead of the 20 they ordered. They’re reasonably mad, and now your Facebook “likers” can see this mess.

You check with your team and you find out that this is true. It took for the shipment longer to arrive because of some staffing issues.

In situations like this, it is important to publicly acknowledge what actually happened, what went wrong, and what are the steps that the company is going to take to fix this and make sure that it will happen again.

Practice empathy, respond carefully, address the issue, provide an explanation, and take accountability. Your customers and prospects will see if you’re being sincere or are just putting on an act.


It shows how you treat your customers

Responding to negative feedback will demonstrate how you deal with dissatisfied customers. Will you be rude and put the blame somewhere else, or are you willing to investigate the concerning matters raised by your customers?

It gives you the chance to make things right
It gives you the chance to make things right

How to respond to a negative review

Remember that ignoring a bad review can only make things worse. Here’s how to properly and effectively respond to a bad review:

Don’t take the bad review personally

A negative review may feel like a huge punch in the gut, but the first thing to remember about dealing with these is to never take these reviews too personally.

These customers do not know you personally, so they’re not attacking YOU. They’re just dissatisfied with a certain product or service, and it’s easier to fix that issue if everything’s not taken too personally and seriously.

Acknowledge the issue and take full accountability 

Respond quickly and address the issue head-on. If the problem requires more details, send the customer a private message asking for more information.

Make sure to take full accountability and try to make it up and reach a compromise with the frustrated customer. Don’t make excuses and be clear on how the misunderstanding occurred.

Apologize and practice empathy

An apology is appropriate, even if you don’t think you did anything wrong. Everyone’s experience is valid, and if a particular transaction with your company did not meet the customer’s standards, you can’t really argue with that. The reviewer’s experience is their own.

The best way to deal with this is to put yourself in the shoes of the client and practice empathy. Apologize and learn from what happened.

Acknowledge the issue and take full accountability
Acknowledge the issue and take full accountability

Insert a little marketing in your message

In your short message, say something like “We apologize for this. We are normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark.” It incorporates a little bit of marketing to your apology while providing assurance that you hold yourself to high standards. 

Keep it simple, short, and sweet

By keeping your apology and response short and sweet, you avoid running the risk of saying anything that could further anger an upset customer.

Some negative reviews may be unfair, but responding with a long and defensive message will only be counterintuitive. A three to four sentence-reply is a good rule of thumb.

Don’t include the company name in your response

Do not make the mistake of including your company name in your response. You don’t want the negative review to show up in the search results, do you?

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