How to Deal with Negative Reviews

As a business owner, you are bound to get a few negative reviews. However, you shouldn’t get defensive, ignore them (or delete them), or get into an online battle with the person who left you a bad review. Instead, use these tactics:


Respond promptly

People expect a quick response. It is important to deal with negative reviews promptly before they escalate and more potential customers read the review.


Be polite and professional

Don’t take it personally. Respond in a polite, professional manner, and don’t blame other people for the problem or create excuses.


Acknowledge the issue and apologize

Most customers who complain on the Internet simply want to be heard. It’s essential to empathize with them and apologize without blaming them. Show that you genuinely regret that a customer didn’t have a positive experience with your business. Approximately 33% of negative reviews on Yelp turn positive when you take the time to apologize to the upset customer.


Promote a positive image of your business

Convey why his or her experience is rare in heartfelt and non-condescending language. If appropriate, include in your reply some of your business’s strengths that are relative to the customer’s experience. Your response can flip the script to frame your business in a positive light while still making the customer feel heard.


Use the negative review as a learning experience

Some reviews can be hard to hear, but once you’ve dealt with the situation appropriately, use any negative reviews as a learning experience. Consistent negative reviews mean that it’s time to make a change. Show your customers you are listening to them by making those changes.


Learn “How to Get More Reviews for Your Business.”

Author avatar
Leslie Radford

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