How to Respond to Negative Customer Reviews on Social Media

Our clients ask us about this from time to time. Thankfully for many of our clients it's a rare occurence to get a negative review, but they do happen. Most of the time the first thing someone does is panic...but don't do that! Hopefully this post will help you think through how to handle these reviews in the future.

Bad Reviews?

Negative reviews

Online reviews can make or break your brand. Don’t believe us? Just check out these statistics from a recent BrightLocal consumer survey report – 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they would a recommendation from someone they know, and 90% of consumers will read less than 10 reviews before they start to form an opinion about a business.

Though online reviews do play a significant role in impacting consumer opinions and buying behaviors, how brands respond to these reviews can be just as important. Many brands may decide to not respond to negative reviews. However, these brands are missing out on a vital opportunity to help the reviewer and others see their brand in a positive light. Below, we’ll provide a few tips for effectively responding to negative reviews posted online.

  1. Stay calm.

When it comes to negative online reviews, it can be easy to take these comments personally, especially if you are running a small business that you pour your life into each day. Your first impulse may be to give the reviewer a piece of your mind. However, it is important to remain calm and take time to collect your thoughts before responding.

Remember, one negative review is not the end of your business. When crafting a reply, make sure that you acknowledge that the reviewer has taken the time to express their thoughts and mention that you appreciate their input. Even a simple, “Thank you for your feedback,” shows that you are serious about improving the customer experience.

  1. Keep the response positive.

Every negative review is an opportunity to show the customer the more human side of your business. When consumers take to social media to write bad reviews, they are often not looking for perfection but rather some kind of genuine response and acknowledgement of their experience.

Make sure that you respond to each negative review in a positive and transparent manner to show consumers that you do take their issues and concerns into consideration. This not only leaves the reviewer feeling better about your business but can show other consumers that you care about the customer experience.

  1. Reassure them.

Customers that have had a bad experience want to know that something is being done to address their concerns. You can reassure the customer in your response by apologizing for what has happened and explaining what you will do to rectify the situation. Saying, “I am sorry that your experience with our company did not meet your expectations,” does not necessarily admit any wrongdoing on the part of your business, but it still acknowledges the customer’s experience.

In addition to apologizing, you should also try to make the situation right based on the circumstances of the complaint. Tell the reviewer what your company plans to do to rectify the situation in question. Whether you plan to ship the customer another product or invite them back for a free meal or service, simple acts like this may be all that it takes to get the customer to change their mind about your business and show others that you’re serious about customer service.


Taylor White

About the author - Taylor White

Small Biz Owner, Inbound Marketer, Husband & Father, Sports Fan — The Glass is Half Full!