Should You Respond To Negative Reviews?

OneSTARTemplate - Logo_12Someone has left a negative review online about your company … your baby … your life … your identity.  How dare they.  The nerve.  Do they know how hard you work to run a good business?  Should you respond to that negative review?


After you cool off.  But don’t wait too long.  Just cool off quickly.

Keep in mind, responding to a negative review is not really answering the person who wrote the review.  Your response is really for anyone else who is looking for your product or service and happens to read the negative review before they make a purchase decision.  They need to see that you take responsibility and apologize.  This may the first, and most important step of creating a relationship with a potential new buyer.

Tips For Responding To A Negative Review

1.  Be empathetic and don’t get defensive: It doesn’t matter how wrong the customer might be or how badly you want to show how the customer is the one at fault – don’t do it. Avoid an online battle at all cost. Otherwise, it could cost you new business.  Be empathetic and convey that you “understand” how the customer feels.

  • “I understand your disappointment.”
  • “We hear you loud and clear and we understand how annoying that must have been.”

2.  Say Thank You:  I’m not kidding.

  • “Thank you for taking time to tell us about your experience.”
  • “We appreciate your feedback.”
  • “Thank you.  Your feedback will help us serve you and others better.”

3.  Apologize:  Really apologize.  Even if you or your team weren’t responsible for the issue, go ahead and apologize.

  • “We want to apologize for (problem) and let you know that we have taken the necessary steps to insure that this doesn’t happen again.”
  • “Please accept my sincerest apologies for your experience with us.”
  • “I am so sorry.”

4.  Engage the reader and act like a real person.  Too many companies just respond with what seems like a scripted response.  Use the person’s name if possible.  Every response should reference that specific review or something written in the review.  Ask the person to contact you if appropriate.

  • “Rick, could you please contact me at (phone number) to talk about how I can resolve this problem?”
  • “Sherry, it sounds like we should have handled your repair much better than we did.  Please call me so we can discuss how to make this situation right.”
  • “It’s understandable that you would be upset, Joe. We definitely do not want to lose you, or anyone, as a customer as a result of this bad experience. Please contact …”

5.  Know when to say when.  There will be some customers and some situations that you aren’t going to be able to help.  For example, a customer may demand that you fire an employee.  When written correctly, potential customers reading your response will understand.

  • “Your opinion is very valuable to us, Mr. Jones. I assure you, we take each and every customer suggestion into consideration. Thank you very much for your comments.”
  • “We greatly value the opinions of our customers. At (business) we work hard every day to insure that our customer’s needs are being met – and exceeded. Thank you very much for your feedback, Cathy.”

Here is another key point that many companies overlook.  It’s just as important to respond to the positive reviews as well!  Thank them for their time, their comments, and their business.

Contact us to strategize about building your 5-STAR reputation online AND how to turn-around your negative reviews as well.