How To Respond To Negative Reviews

Difficulty: Beginner

It happens to every business. Eventually, someone will be displeased with your product or service, and leave a negative online review.

It can be disappointing when this happens, and it’s easy to feel upset, particularly if the review is angry or you believe it to be unfair.

However, when responding to negative reviews, you have to consider the reputation of your business. When you think about it in that light, negative reviews don’t always have to be a bad thing. In fact, they can be turned around into a positive opportunity.

What should you do when you receive a negative review online?


  1. Don’t Ignore The Review

    It’s wishful to think if you just ignore something it will go away. In most instances, this isn’t the case, and it also applies to reviews.

    Your customers can see when people post reviews on your social media pages. They can also see that you’re not replying. This reflects badly on your business, as people don’t like to feel like they’re being ignored. So instead of ignoring the review in hope it will just go away, it’s best to respond.

  2. Remain Positive

    When you feel like you’re being attacked, it can be tempting to write an angry response in return. However, getting into an online fight with customers runs the risk of damaging your brand's reputation, particularly if more people start to join in the conversation.

    Instead of fighting, remember to remain calm and positive at all times. This may be difficult if you’re being accused of something, or you disagree with the customer.

  3. Take The Conversation Off Social Media

    Sometimes it will take a longer conversation to help solve the customer’s problem. You can either have this conversation play out on social media for everyone to read and scrutinise your replies. Or you can offer to have the customer direct message you.

    This way, your conversation can play out in private, and the customer knows you’re committed to resolving their issue. If the case needs to go further, you can even give the customer a phone number they can call to resolve their case.

    Remember to never get customers to disclose personal information on a public social network. If you ever need the customer's phone number or address, or any other personal details, remember to get them to direct message you so you can ensure their details stay private.

  4. Find a Solution

    If you’ve received a negative review, it’s not enough just to say sorry, you need to actually work to find a solution to their problem. The customer not only wants their problem to be acknowledged, they want it to be fixed.

    Responding to the review is just the first part. Next, you have to solve the problem. If you don’t attempt to reach some form of resolution, you risk losing the customer.



Remember to look out for negative reviews that use offensive language, are from a serial complainer, or are false reviews.

Instead of responding politely to these, you can report these and ask the website or the reviewer to remove the review. However, it should be noted that a website may not agree that it is a false review. If this occurs, it is best to still consider responding in order to avoid ignoring the review.


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