Gazz Digital: Digital Marketing Agency Alexandria VA

How Should My Business Respond to a Negative Online Review?

Getting a negative review is never ideal. However, the truth is that some people only leave reviews if they have a problem with a service, company, or product, which can greatly impact your business.

Negative reviews are part of having a digital presence for many companies, even ones with mostly excellent reviews. So it’s important to know how to respond when they do happen.

How should your business respond to a negative online review? Don’t respond until you have all the information you need to make the best of a bad situation—we have some guidelines for you below.

Determine If the Review Was Left in Error

Don’t respond to a review until you can determine if the person leaving the review was actually a client or customer of your business.

Some negative reviews are left mistakenly and meant for another company, while others may be fake, whether from a fake account or person.

If you believe the review was left in error, you can flag the review for removal. However, if it is not removed, you can kindly respond to the person and let them know you believe the review was left incorrectly, as you cannot find a record of them as your client or customer.

You can also ask them to contact you directly so that you can assist them further or resolve the problem in the event that you are mistaken.

Respond Kindly and Sympathetically 

Getting negative feedback can be upsetting and frustrating, especially if you believe the review was left in error or the information stated in the review is simply not true.

If you need to give yourself some time before responding, then do so. It’s never good to reply to a negative review when you are feeling angry or upset by what was said, so wait until you are calm and collected before handling the situation.

When you do respond, do so kindly and sympathetically. Address the person or company by name and thank them for leaving feedback, then take responsibility for the issue, even if you are not necessarily at fault.

Offer to Resolve the Problem or Speak With Them

Even if a situation is beyond repair or you don’t have records of that particular person or company working with your business, offer to resolve the problem or speak directly with them to address the issue.

Offering to address the problem will show people you are willing to try and resolve the conflict or clear any confusion about this person’s experience and why they are leaving a bad review.

Although chances are the person will not take you up on your offer, responding in this way shows other customers and clients that you care and want to work things out with the individual or business to settle the issue.

Dos and Don’ts When Responding to Negative Feedback

There are a few things you should always do, even if you believe the issue was not your fault or the person is being rude or malicious with their feedback.

  1. Do apologize. Unless the review was left in error, take responsibility for the problem by apologizing for their experience and offering to make things right.
  2. Don’t go off-topic. People can bring up many things in a lengthy review, but do your best to stick to the issue at hand and not respond to irrelevant or spiteful comments.
  3. Do wait to respond. Although it’s tempting to respond to a review immediately, wait until you have all the facts about the situation and can determine if the review is legitimate.
  4. Don’t point fingers. Even if the person is at fault, do not blame them for the problem or their experience. Instead, be kind and respectful, even if they were not.

You Can Handle Negative Online Reviews

Although it’s easy to only reply to positive reviews, it’s essential to respond to all reviews your business receives. Your responses will show that you address all customers and clients with respect, whether or not they have anything positive to say. By following these guidelines and remaining professional, you can handle negative online reviews in a way that flatters your business.

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