Why (and How) You Should Respond To Your Negative Reviews

One of the main features of ReviewEdge is the ability to monitor and respond to your incoming reviews from a centralized dashboard. From small businesses to big brands, listening to and being able to respond to your customers is critical to the success of your business, regardless of whether the reviews are positive or negative.

Here at OneLocal, we know that responding to every review that you receive will drive a personalized experience for both your business and potential customers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s a 1-on-1 conversation when replying to your positive or negative review. Remember that the response you write will not only be read by the reviewer, but it will also be visible to prospective customers (whose opinions can also be shaped by what you have to say). How and what you say to one of your customers will define how others will see your business and what they can expect when they interact with you.

So you’ve gotten your first negative review, now what?

The first step is to understand that you can’t ignore it. Just like how you wouldn’t expect your staff to ignore a complaint in person, your online review is no different. The most powerful impact you can make is to take control of the conversation, as there are unique benefits to negative reviews.

    1. Improve your business

  • Bad reviews can help your business identify where you’re making mistakes and how you can improve. A Harvard Business Review study showed that 72% of employees thought that customer feedback would help improve their performance.

    2. Win the customer back

  • 95% of unhappy customers will return to your business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.

    3. Maintain a good online reputation

  • 43% of customers don’t provide feedback simply because they don’t think the business cares about what they have to say, but 81% would leave feedback if they knew they’d get a quick response.

    4. Your reviews will be seen as authentic and trustworthy

  • Striving for 5-star reviews is great, but no business or product is perfect and without a few flaws. If all your reviews are perfect across the board without any mention of some flaws, your potential consumers may see it as suspicious and untrustworthy.

Here’s what we’ve learned

Let us walk you through the best practices when it comes to handling negative reviews.


    1. Take control of the situation and begin by apologizing to your customer.
    2. Demonstrate that you understand your customer’s concern and address what the underlying problem was.
    3. Be proactive by offering to make things right.
    4. Take the conversation into a private setting.

Hubspot Negative Reviews

Here’s an example of a response that follows these steps:

Hi John, we are sorry to hear that we didn’t live up to your expectations. We are usually known for our great customer service and attention to detail in everything that we do. But we completely understand that our reputation is not something we should hide behind. So, if you’d like, you could call us on 1-855-428-2669 or email us directly at [email protected]. We’d like to discuss the matter further with you and see how we can make things better.

We recommend you personalize all responses to your reviewers and following these steps will help you craft your response. Remember that YOU are the professional here — not your customers. By responding professionally, you will be displaying your company’s values to not only your reviewer, but also to future customers.


Get a Demo

Enter your details below to set-up your no-obligation demo. All fields are required.*