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When it comes to customer feedback, responding to negative reviews isn’t always fun. But, it’s not an option either.

A business needs to manage their reputation, and responding to online reviews (positive or negative) is critical to solidifying your reputation.

89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews

There’s a number of things to consider when responding to negative reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp or similar review sites. We'll go over 6 key things to consider when replying to negative customer feedback, and provide 6 examples of how you can respond if someone leaves a negative review of your business. Keep in mind that each review response should be personalized and canned responses should be avoided. Please use these examples as a guide for your own responses, and let's turn those frowns upside down!

6 tips for responding to negative reviews

  1. Respond promptly to negative feedback
    Don't put it off. In fact, most consumers expect a reply within the same day. Be quick about responding to negative reviews, it can help to resolve the issue when you’re able to address the situation in a timely manner. To be able to do so, you need to monitor reviews often so that you’re aware of any situations where an unhappy customer has left a negative review.
  2. Be professional when replying to bad reviews
    How you respond matters. The last thing you want to do is get personal and blast off an angry rant to a negative review. Remember, you’re not just replying to an individual, but everyone that might see your response in the future. For many consumers, how you respond to an angry or dissatisfied customer can influence their decision to choose your business too.
  3. Keep it brief
    When providing a response to a negative review, keep it brief and get to the point. Steer the customer towards having a conversation to resolve the issue and suggest taking it offline.
  4. Provide a public response and then take the conversation offline
    Provide a public response to negative customer feedback and when suitable, take things offline. Providing a public response first gives you an opportunity to provide context and demonstrate to customers that your business works to make customers happy - then you can take it offline. Once resolved, return to the original online conversation and thank them for the chance to fix the issue.
  5. Know when to respond and when to let it lie
    Not every negative review is going to be something you can fix. Sometimes, a response could be putting yourself in the line of fire for more negative attention. Determine if engagement is the right course of action. Was it a genuine mistake on your end or the rants of someone angry at life. Or worse yet, the ramblings of trolls?
  6. Crisis management
    There are times when negative sentiment online can cause others to jump on the bandwagon. Every situation is different and can require some level of intervention. Avoid being confrontational or providing excuses. Tackle the issue head on and own your mistakes. In a crisis management situation, it is best to take the conversation offline as soon as it's appropriate.
96% of 18-34-year-olds read review responses.

6 response examples for negative reviews:

  1. Hello [NAME],
    We would like to apologize for your recent experience. We're sorry to hear you were less than satisfied with [product/service].


    We pride ourselves on our [product/service] and the high quality standards we maintain. We would like to make things right.


    You can expect a [call/email] from [name] soon to discuss what occurred and how we might make it up to you.
    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]
  2. Hello [NAME],
    We’re sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory experience with [Company] and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies.

    Being known for our great [customer service/product/service] it came as a surprise, and we would like to make things right.


    We will be reaching out soon and you should get a  [call/email] from [name] to determine how we can provide a solution that makes you smile.

    If you prefer, you can also contact us directly at [phone/email].

    We value our customer's opinions and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]
  3. Hello [NAME],
    My name is [Name] and I am the [manager/owner] here at [Company].

    I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment with us, and I would like to personally assist you with making things right.


    I will reach out today to discuss, or you can contact me directly at [phone/email] if it's more convenient.


    Let’s get on a call and address this asap; we value your business.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]

  4. Hello [NAME],
    We understand your disappointment with [Company] and agree that this is not acceptable.


    It’s important to us that our customers are more than satisfied and we would like the opportunity to resolve this issue immediately.


    If you give us a chance, we intend to make this right and hope you will allow us to speak with you to discuss the situation.


    Please give me a call at [phone] at your earliest convenience.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]

  5. Hello [NAME],
    We’re so sorry this happened. Let us make it up to you.

    We’ll be in touch today, or please give me a call at [phone] if it's more convenient.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]
  6. Hello [NAME],
    You’re right; this is unacceptable. I can’t imagine how this may have happened, but if you allow me the chance to speak with you I would like to make it right.

    I would like to speak with you at your earliest convenience so we can get this sorted.

    My number is [phone] or you can email me at [email].
    I’m sorry this happened and look forward to speaking with you.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]

Summary: Respond to all online customer feedback, both positive and negative

While it can be difficult, maintaining the integrity of your business is an important part of reputation management. Online reviews are trusted by almost 90% of consumers and just as many read the responses businesses provide to those reviews.

When responding to negative or bad reviews of your business remember to keep be prompt with your reply and professional. Provide a public response and when suitable suggest taking it offline. Once resolved return to the online review and thank your customer for allowing you to fix the situation.

Keep in mind that less than five percent of dissatisfied customers ever take the time to mention why they’re unhappy, they simply disappear. This means the unhappy customers that are sharing are doing your business a favor; this way you can fix things and avoid future issues.

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Negative Review Response Examples

When it comes to customer feedback, responding to negative reviews isn’t always fun. But, it’s not an option either.

A business needs to manage their reputation, and responding to online reviews (positive or negative) is critical to solidifying your reputation.

89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews

There’s a number of things to consider when responding to negative reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp or similar review sites. We'll go over 6 key things to consider when replying to negative customer feedback, and provide 6 examples of how you can respond if someone leaves a negative review of your business. Keep in mind that each review response should be personalized and canned responses should be avoided. Please use these examples as a guide for your own responses, and let's turn those frowns upside down!

6 tips for responding to negative reviews

  1. Respond promptly to negative feedback
    Don't put it off. In fact, most consumers expect a reply within the same day. Be quick about responding to negative reviews, it can help to resolve the issue when you’re able to address the situation in a timely manner. To be able to do so, you need to monitor reviews often so that you’re aware of any situations where an unhappy customer has left a negative review.
  2. Be professional when replying to bad reviews
    How you respond matters. The last thing you want to do is get personal and blast off an angry rant to a negative review. Remember, you’re not just replying to an individual, but everyone that might see your response in the future. For many consumers, how you respond to an angry or dissatisfied customer can influence their decision to choose your business too.
  3. Keep it brief
    When providing a response to a negative review, keep it brief and get to the point. Steer the customer towards having a conversation to resolve the issue and suggest taking it offline.
  4. Provide a public response and then take the conversation offline
    Provide a public response to negative customer feedback and when suitable, take things offline. Providing a public response first gives you an opportunity to provide context and demonstrate to customers that your business works to make customers happy - then you can take it offline. Once resolved, return to the original online conversation and thank them for the chance to fix the issue.
  5. Know when to respond and when to let it lie
    Not every negative review is going to be something you can fix. Sometimes, a response could be putting yourself in the line of fire for more negative attention. Determine if engagement is the right course of action. Was it a genuine mistake on your end or the rants of someone angry at life. Or worse yet, the ramblings of trolls?
  6. Crisis management
    There are times when negative sentiment online can cause others to jump on the bandwagon. Every situation is different and can require some level of intervention. Avoid being confrontational or providing excuses. Tackle the issue head on and own your mistakes. In a crisis management situation, it is best to take the conversation offline as soon as it's appropriate.
96% of 18-34-year-olds read review responses.

6 response examples for negative reviews:

  1. Hello [NAME],
    We would like to apologize for your recent experience. We're sorry to hear you were less than satisfied with [product/service].


    We pride ourselves on our [product/service] and the high quality standards we maintain. We would like to make things right.


    You can expect a [call/email] from [name] soon to discuss what occurred and how we might make it up to you.
    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]
  2. Hello [NAME],
    We’re sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory experience with [Company] and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies.

    Being known for our great [customer service/product/service] it came as a surprise, and we would like to make things right.


    We will be reaching out soon and you should get a  [call/email] from [name] to determine how we can provide a solution that makes you smile.

    If you prefer, you can also contact us directly at [phone/email].

    We value our customer's opinions and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]
  3. Hello [NAME],
    My name is [Name] and I am the [manager/owner] here at [Company].

    I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment with us, and I would like to personally assist you with making things right.


    I will reach out today to discuss, or you can contact me directly at [phone/email] if it's more convenient.


    Let’s get on a call and address this asap; we value your business.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]

  4. Hello [NAME],
    We understand your disappointment with [Company] and agree that this is not acceptable.


    It’s important to us that our customers are more than satisfied and we would like the opportunity to resolve this issue immediately.


    If you give us a chance, we intend to make this right and hope you will allow us to speak with you to discuss the situation.


    Please give me a call at [phone] at your earliest convenience.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]

  5. Hello [NAME],
    We’re so sorry this happened. Let us make it up to you.

    We’ll be in touch today, or please give me a call at [phone] if it's more convenient.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]
  6. Hello [NAME],
    You’re right; this is unacceptable. I can’t imagine how this may have happened, but if you allow me the chance to speak with you I would like to make it right.

    I would like to speak with you at your earliest convenience so we can get this sorted.

    My number is [phone] or you can email me at [email].
    I’m sorry this happened and look forward to speaking with you.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Name]
    [Company name and/or position - optional]

Summary: Respond to all online customer feedback, both positive and negative

While it can be difficult, maintaining the integrity of your business is an important part of reputation management. Online reviews are trusted by almost 90% of consumers and just as many read the responses businesses provide to those reviews.

When responding to negative or bad reviews of your business remember to keep be prompt with your reply and professional. Provide a public response and when suitable suggest taking it offline. Once resolved return to the online review and thank your customer for allowing you to fix the situation.

Keep in mind that less than five percent of dissatisfied customers ever take the time to mention why they’re unhappy, they simply disappear. This means the unhappy customers that are sharing are doing your business a favor; this way you can fix things and avoid future issues.

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