How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Posted By: Wendy Navarro on May 29, 2020 
2 Comments

GASP! You received a negative review. How should you respond? Your first reaction may be to ignore it or to respond and defend your business and make your case. However, the same premise applies to negative review response as it does to positive reviews. How you respond to a negative review impacts not only the reviewer but everyone who reads it afterward, and people are carefully watching to see how businesses handle a particularly challenging review online. Your response should always suggest that management is proud of their business and willing to go the extra mile to maintain their reputation!

Make potential clients see the light with these four steps: Apologize, Promote, Get offline, Keep it simple.


How to respond to negative reviews

  1. Apologize and sympathize. The first step toward fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience will go a long way.
  2. Promote. So the famous crab cakes weren’t up to par the day this particular customer visited. If they’re what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our crab cakes are usually a hit, we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!”
  3. Move the conversation offline. Keep the lid on tight by offering the reviewer the chance to reach out via phone, email, or both.
  4. Keep it simple. Avoid specifics and don’t ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public.

One last pro tip: leave your business name, location and category out of this. You don’t want your negative reviews showing up in search!



If you don’t have time to manage your reviews, ask us about our Reputation management services.? Contact us today 

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2 comments on “How to Respond to Negative Reviews”

    1. Devika, great question. Google generally will not remove reviews. Only the author can change or delete them. However, the same principles apply even when someone has not used a business' service or purchased a product. In your response tell them that when someone has a problem, your business will hear them and invite them to contact the owner by leaving a phone number or email. It doesn’t matter if the reviewer lied or only told half of the story – people are watching how a business responds and in large will consider the overwhelmingly positive reviews for a business vs a negative one.

      Here is a response we found from a business in a chat on Google Support (https://support.google.com): "...we were friends with another 'badly reviewed company'. So, we contacted a few more companies that this person had left bad reviews on, and collectively we all reported it to google via the help desk. Google never actually got back to any of us, but the reviews for this person were removed."

Wendy Navarro - Navarro Creative Group
Wendy Navarro is the Founder and CEO of NAVARRO CREATIVE GROUP, a marketing agency that helps businesses across a variety of market sectors to build their digital presence by providing website design, social media marketing, and consulting services. 

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