How to Respond to a Negative Review

Hardly anyone wants to receive a bad online review. As a business owner, you may take the reviewer’s comment and low-quality rating as a personal attack when you see an unfavorable review of your company.

Nonetheless, responding emotionally is not the best way to handle with negative reviews. Getting angry or frustrated is not going to fix the issue. Not only have you an unhappy customer, you have someone who has made his negative experience of your business publicly available for everyone to see.

57% of customers will frequent a business only if it has 4 or more stars, so it is important that you preserve your high rating to maintain the reputation of your business. Here’s how you should act when faced with a negative review.

1. Respond quickly

You’re wrong if you think that you can overlook a bad review. By not responding, you’re sending a message to others. This shows those who see the poor review that you don’t care about the reviews or experiences of your customers.

If a customer is upset or experienced poorly with your brand, you must act as quickly as possible to minimize damages. It’s best to reply within 24 hours because the experience is still fresh in the mind of the customer.

2. Apologize

That customer always thinks that they are in the right, so it’s best to apologize. You’re going to apologize for not meeting their standards, even if you don’t think it’s your fault. You can also repeat the issue so that they know you hear it and say that you want to solve the problem.

Keep the greetings and apologies short, but make sure it sounds sincere:

Hey Nina,
This is James, owner of Anytown Audiology. We’re extremely sorry that you had a bad experience with us.

  • Use their name: This shows them that an actual human is writing the review response.
  • Then introduce yourself to the customer, so they know that a person with authority is dealing with the issue
  • Then apologize to the customer for his experience.

3. Make it right

If you did not provide a fix or actionable item in order to alleviate the issue in response to a complaint from your client, you did not correctly respond to a negative review. Make sure that you offer a solution to this problem. Customers also want to learn that somehow it is possible to resolve their negative experience. The settlement of a complaint for a company is significant and can reduce customer turnover.

4. Take the conversation offline

Offer to solve the issue over the phone. You will be able to solve the issues of your client in person or on the phone and encourage both sides to find a solution. After your initial apology, here’s how you can extend this invite: make sure you include your name, title, and direct contact details (or that of a manager with the authority in your business). Even if you are not called back, anyone who sees the complaint conversation will at least see that you have attempted to correct the situation. In building trust with future customers, that is invaluable.


Although it may be challenging, it is part of maintaining your reputation as a company to reply to negative reviews. Maintaining a professional manner in your online and offline encounters with your customers will only benefit you in the long run.

Each online review that your company receives would be favorable in a perfect world. This is not true, sadly. While it may seem unreasonable, it is important to recognize and plan for negative reviews.

When you disregard negative reviews, it is doubtful that consumers will return. And that customer can proceed to share their experience further, which will damage your business’ reputation further.


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