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Receiving a negative review or comment online can be very hard. Responding to said review can be even more challenging. It’s easy to let emotion take over, but it’s important to remain professional and courteous.

If a customer or client gives you a negative review or bad feedback, you may feel like they’re being unfair. Most business owners feel this way and it’s perfectly normal. However, you should use negative reviews as an opportunity to show your professionalism and to take time to try to fix the situation.

When you receive reviews or feedback, whether positive or negative, you should try to respond within one week. With a negative review or comment it is especially important to respond. Most review sites allow business owners to write a public response and this can help you save your image as a business owner.

Negative reviews that don’t get a response from the business owner often lead readers and potential clients to believe the negative comment is true and that the company doesn’t care about the customers. Additionally, some clients who post negative reviews may simply be looking for attention and may be willing to remove the review if you help them with their problem.

Steps to Respond to a Negative Review

When writing your response to a negative review, it’s important to remember to be short, to the point, and courteous. I recommend waiting about 24 hours before writing your response, so that you have a chance to get into the right mind set. You don’t want to respond emotionally and from a place of anger as this might make the problem worse.

Maybe you can’t win back the writer of the review, but crafting a thoughtful and professional response can help show readers that you are serious about your work and satisfying your customers.

Step 1

First, you need to acknowledge the reviewer and the situation. I recommend addressing them by their first name, then explain that you’re sorry or thankful to learn about their situation and experience with your company.

Step 2

Then, explain to the reviewer and future readers of the reviews that your standards for business are high and what this client experienced is not your typical customer experience.

Step 3

Finally, if you want to try to resolve the issue or work with the reviewer further, ask them to contact you privately. You can give them your company email or phone number. This shows that you are serous and willing to work with your clients to ensure their satisfaction.

Remember, in general, when writing your response, you should avoid being defensive. Don’t try to prove a point or provide too may details. Keep the response short and sweet. Don’t invite any sort of rebuttal from the reviewer; if they need to speak with you further, they should do this by contacting you privately. When possible try to bury negative reviews among positive reviews.

Sometimes you may encounter a customer or client who was exceptionally rude to your employees and staff. In this case, it’s important to tactfully address the problem, making sure that you acknowledge the client’s position, while also setting boundaries and letting them know that the way they treated your staff was not acceptable.

At the end of the day, negative reviews are just a part of conducting business. Everyone gets a negative review once in a while, so try not to dwell on it. Unfortunately, there are some customers who are never pleased no matter what you do or how attentive you are. Fortunately, most readers are forgiving and will overlook the occasional bad review for your business.

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