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Responding to Negative Reviews

By October 27, 2022July 25th, 2023No Comments

Have you ever received a super sweet and kind review like this?

That’s cool. It gives credibility to your brand, which increases leads. They also build your confidence and give you the motivation to work harder! That’s the power of a good review.

But have you ever received a negative review such as this?

These types of reviews shatter the spirit. They may make you believe that your hard-won brand image has been tarnished and that all potential customers who read the reviews will have a negative impression of you.

In spite of all the negativity, did you know that bad reviews are just as important as good reviews?

You may be asking, how on earth can bad reviews ever be a good thing? Well, the answer is that they are gifts in disguise.

Let’s talk a little bit about reviews…


Why are reviews important?

How likely are you to visit a restaurant because your closest friend recommends it to you? Very likely! Well, 88% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. That is remarkably powerful. That is why, even for the most well-known companies today, word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective marketing asset.

Online reviews are social proof of your business to potential customers. Did you know that 92% of consumers read reviews before they purchase a product or service? It gives them the confidence to purchase your product or service, giving them a reason to trust your brand.

Once a customer takes a leap of faith by trusting in your brand and purchasing your product, there is a good chance they will return if they are satisfied..

But how does that explain how bad reviews are helpful to your business in any way?


Why bad reviews are just as important as good reviews:

While it may seem as if a full 5 star review with no complaints is desirable, approximately 68% of consumers trust businesses who have a mix of both good and bad reviews! It makes your company appear more genuine and trustworthy.

Bad reviews are also a chance for you to publicly show other customers how you professionally handle criticism, no matter how unfair it may appear. Responding to your customer’s complaint is your responsibility and you must find a way to accommodate their dissatisfactions.

45% of potential customers state they are highly likely to visit a business that responds to bad reviews. It’s an opportunity to transform the negative review into a positive one!


So how can you turn a bad review into a good review?

Now that you know the importance of both good and bad reviews, we will give you three steps you should take when approaching a negative review.

1. Assess the problem

Before you start replying to every single review, it is crucial to take a step back and assess what the customer is unhappy with in regards to your service.

Were they mistreated? Did they receive a faulty product? You must understand the problem before tackling it. This means there needs to be a plan to navigate your response in a way that’s most favourable to you and the customer.

2. Apologise (if it was your fault)

Assuming that the bad review is the fault of your business or caused by a customer’s interaction with you, it is only right to take responsibility and apologise. But did you know that there is a right way to apologise?

Which seems more sincere?

The response in B doesn’t even include the word “sorry” but it sounds a thousand times more sincere than A!

Let’s have a closer examination of Response B and why the apology seems more sincere:

  • The customer’s name is addressed in the response!

Most reviews are from Google or Facebook which means that the reviewer’s name is available for you to personalise your response. The customer will feel heard and properly addressed if you do this compared to a generic introduction such as “Dear Customer”.

Take advantage of this and address the name of the reviewer!

  • The customer is praised for taking the time to leave a review!

Everyone loves being praised despite the situation. This includes your unhappy customers!

Thank them for leaving feedback. A review is a reflection of how your company appears to customers. They serve as a springboard for you to improve your brand and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

Therefore, if a customer has taken their time to write a review, do not ignore it or take it for granted. Thank them instead.

  • Amendments for the customer are initiated!

If the complaint that the customer is addressing is really your fault, provide solutions so that the customer can walk away satisfied! This is your opportunity to make amends for the customer’s complaint. It’s only fair to make things right!

3. Make it your goal to keep the customer and build a relationship with them.

Apologising and going separate ways is the road usually taken, and it is the most comfortable way to resolve conflict.

BUT you can be different! You can continue to pursue this experience as a chance to create relationships with customers. Even your customers with bad experiences have the potential to be loyal customers.

For example, if you own a restaurant and a customer leaves an angry review, respond in such a manner:

Try your very best to make them feel heard and turn them into loyal customers.



All reviews, both good and bad, are valuable for your business if they are well responded to. When you are responding to a customer review, it is very important to have the goal to transform them into a regular customer!

Do you have a pile of reviews waiting for you to get back to them? Use the three steps to respond to them now!

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