How to Respond to a Negative Review Online

You try your hardest, you want to make sure all your clients or customers or pleased, but nobody’s perfect. There’s a chance that at least once you or someone in your company will drop the ball, and a customer won’t get the type of service or product most have come to expect from your company.

Many time a simple phone call will smooth things over, but what do you do when someone leaves a negative review? Don’t worry, one negative review is not the end of the world, but it’s to your advantage to respond. Let’s learn some dos and don’ts when it comes to responding to negative reviews.

Tips for Responding to a Negative Reviews Online

Don’t Get Defensive

It’s easy to quickly get defensive, especially if you feel the customer is being unfair. However, getting defensive will not solve the problem at hand and could make you look like a jackass on the review site. The key is a good review response is turning something negative into something positive.

Acknowledge the Problem

Don’t just say sorry and leave it at that. Acknowledge the customer’s issue. Is the bad review because one of your worker’s accidentally got paint on the wood floors? Acknowledge that the accident happened. Many times, a customer just wants to you to acknowledge that you’re aware the problem exists.

Try Thank You Instead of Sorry

Which sounds better, sorry, or thank you? When possible, turn sorry into thank you in a negative review response. For example, instead of “I’m sorry my field tech called in sick to work and couldn’t make your appointment,” into “Thank you for your patience why we deal with an employee issue.” Doesn’t that sound so much better and less negative?

Offer the Reviewee a Solution

Acknowledge the problem, try to use thank you, and offer the reviewer a solution. This could be as simple as, “Please contact our main office so we can assist you further,” or “I will be out there on Tuesday to review the situation.” Don’t just say sorry, show that you take the review seriously and you will work to make it better.

Responding to a negative review can be intimidating, but is not so bad if you follow these steps and use proper judgment. The hidden secret about negative reviews? The proper response may show potential customers so you’re on top of problems should something happen. Not only will responding to negative reviews properly look good on your end, it could pull a new sale. How about that?

Author: Melissa Popp
Melissa Popp is Director of Digital Engagement for Altitude Agency, a boutique agency helping small businesses win with content online. As a digital strategist with a passion for technology and travel, she coaches her partners to connect with their audience through experience optimization, with the goal of retaining more loyal visitors, creating brand ambassadors, and increasing conversion goals. She can be found online writing for TripSavvy, TechNorms, and The Emmys. Past clients include Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Samsung.