How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are never fun, and engaging a customer by replying to their review might sound like a terrible idea - but it's the right call. No matter what, you need to reply to the customer. Here are a couple of reasons why:

70 percent of negative reviewers will purchase again if you make it right.

How should you reply to negative reviews of your business?

  1. Stay calm. Never reply when you're still angry, because you may say something you don't really mean if you're emotional when you reply. Walk away from the computer for a few minutes. Don't wait too long, though; 52 percent of consumers expect a response within seven days. 
  2. Remember why you're replying. You want to win back the customer and show other consumers you care enough to make things right. 
  3. Apologize, even if it isn't your fault. "I'm sorry you had a less than stellar experience." Or, "Whoops, we're sorry! Looks like you caught us on a bad day." 
  4. Remind the reviewer (and anyone else who's reading) that this experience is unusual. "We usually get food out to our tables within 30 minutes!" Or, "Our sales assistants usually receive compliments on their excellent customer service skills." 
  5. Repeat the positives. Again, if there are any positive comments in the review, repeat those so that you can reinforce the idea that your business is usually on top of things. 
  6. Take it offline or offer to make it right. Ask the reviewer to email, call or visit your business so you can fix the problem. Offer a coupon or discount for their next purchase. Don't try to bribe them for a better review, but do genuinely try to make things right. 
  7. Bury this negative review by getting new positive reviews. 
  8. Remember that you can't please everyone. Some unhappy customers just won't return to your business, but that's okay. Focus on building better relationships with happy customers. 
  9. Know that negative reviews aren't the end of the world. In fact, a few negative reviews will help consumers trust your business more. Some consumers are suspicious, and they tend to think business reviews are fake. But, they know you probably wouldn't pay for fake negative reviews. 

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