How To Respond To Negative Reviews Online

How To Respond To Negative Reviews Online

Online customer reviews are an important factor that all businesses should learn to manage effectively. Collecting online reviews can assist your business by improving the trustworthy level amongst current and prospective customers. The overall goal should be to positively control the overall online reputation management of your business. Reviews should also be used to improve your business by taking any feedback and using it to make any adjustments. Responding to online customer reviews is almost as important as receiving the review itself.

There are many options a business owner has when responding to both negative and positive customer reviews. But it is important to remember that staying prompt and professional is key as 53% of customers say they expect a response to a review within 7 days or they will be unsatisfied. It is important to respond to all reviews, both negative and positive, because it may deter current and potential customers if you don’t.  

How To Respond To Negative Reviews

89% of customers say they read both your business reviews AND how you respond to those reviews. Not responding promptly and professionally could potentially cost you any future customers. Learning how to respond to a negative review is critical to ensure you maximise the amount of customers you gain and retain to try and get a positive outcome more often than not. Customers are more like to visit a business that responds to negative reviews and takes it’s feedback seriously.

How likely are you to visit a business that responds to negative reviews?
How likely are you to visit a business that responds to negative reviews?

Responding to positive reviews is generally a lot easier as the customer is already satisfied and will involve thanking the customer for their great feedback. Handling negative online reviews is a much more complicated task and there is a lot more careful thought involved with your response. Respond to negative reviews by being professional and acknowledging that the customer’s bad experience has led them to writing a poor review. Also apologize if necessary for any inconvenience caused to the customer as this can help make them feel a bit better. It is important to be authentic and make it personalized as replying with a templated response to a negative review can make your business look less genuine. 

Following these steps can help ensure your business becomes more sincere when responding to a negative reviewer and their negative comments. Lastly, take it offline in order to avoid an online conflict of interest and deal with it privately by leaving a contact email or phone number. This will ensure there is no escalation of issues that play out publicly and will help in the long run with your overall levels of customer service.

Responding To Negative Reviews

All the top review sites have options to easily respond to online reviews. Google accounts for 73% of the entire global distribution of all online reviews, so it is important to focus on Google the most if it applies to your business. Learning how to respond to a 1-star review on Google will help you improve your reputation on the largest review platform of them all. Facebook is another large review platform which many businesses use to manage their online reviews.

Being able to respond to a bad review online is an important skill to have for any business owner or manager. Learn below how to effectively manage your negative reviews by responding to both Google & Facebook reviews online.

How To Respond To A Negative Google Review

Step 1: Go to to navigate to Google Business Profile Manager

Step 2: On the left nav bar click on ‘Reviews’

Google Business Profile Manager Navigation

Step 3: Reply to reviews directly through Google Business Profile and see which reviews you have replied to and which reviews you haven’t replied to

Reply Directly to Google Reviews

How To Respond To A Negative Review On Facebook

Step 1: Go to and click the menu button on the right hand side of the navigation bar

Facebook Menu Link

Step 2: Click on the ‘Pages’ button to find your business page

Facebook Navigation Menu

Step 3: Click the button titled ‘Reviews’

Facebook Reviews Menu

Step 4: See all your business’ reviews and click the comment button to reply to a Facebook review

Facebook Comment Button

Tips For Handling Negative Online Reviews Like A Pro

Whoever is in charge of your online reviews must know how to handle negative feedback effectively. Being efficient in responding to online reviews will certainly help your business gain a better reputation online for caring about their customers. 94% of customers say that an online review has previously convinced them to avoid a business. Replying to negative reviews can help convince customers that your business is not so bad and cares about making improvements by tackling negative feedback in a clear way.

A good start to become a pro at handling negative feedback is to ensure staff are trained to appropriately handle feedback, both positive and negative. As part of the training process, it may be valuable to create a business manual and templates to help staff navigate certain reviews scenarios. It is important that your review responses are not too generic for negative reviews or it could look too automated, thus making the customer even more unhappy if it is a less personalized response.

It may be tempting to delete any negative Google reviews, but it is important to not do so as this is against the rules and may cause the reviewer to become more upset. However, it is possible to delete fake reviews on Google should they obviously be fake and detrimental to your business. Embracing negative feedback is important because it can help your business grow and prosper. Using it for internal use and for public viewing is a great way to evaluate where you are at and how you can make any vital improvements to your products or services.

Negative Review Response Templates

It is not always a great idea to respond to negative reviews with templated responses because it can come across as less personal and meaningful if it is just a copy and pasted message. However, it can still be a great idea to have these responses handy when a bad review appears as it can save time and effort when thinking of an appropriate reply. The reviewer wants to see a quick and appropriate response to any issue they may have. Below are some templated responses that can help with your replies to negative online reviews. 

  • Hello {name}, we’re sorry to hear about your negative experience with us. We want to know more information to help us resolve the issue. Please contact us at {email-address}, and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.
  • We’re sorry that you had a negative experience. We strive to provide the best service possible and would like to know more. Can you please contact us at {phone-number} to help us learn more about your negative experience so it doesn’t happen again.
  • {name}. We’re sorry that we missed the mark with your experience. We will have our customer success team look into this review immediately.
  • Hi {name}. We’re sorry to hear you had a poor experience with us. We would love to better understand what happened and if there was anything we could do to correct this issue for you. Can you please contact us directly so we can resolve this for you?

Managing Your Online Reviews Is Vital

The entire process associated with responding to negative reviews is one that many businesses don’t take seriously enough. Replying to reviews is important and is something consumers expect to be done appropriately and promptly to resolve their issue. Having this communication with the upset customer can help improve any service or product your business offers by taking on the customer feedback to make changes.

Using an online review management platform can help alleviate some of the pressures associated with online reviews. AddMe Reviews helps businesses of all sizes collect and manage their online reviews in a central location. Follow the link below to see how AddMe can help your business’ online reviews with a comprehensive 14 day trial.