7 Practical Tips for Handling Negative Reviews for Your Business


The internet has made it easier than ever for customers to let businesses know how they feel about the products or services they were provided. No matter how hard you try, it’s nearly impossible to escape at least a few negative reviews. Where positive feedback is gratifying and doesn’t pose much of a challenge to respond to negative feedback can be quite tricky to deal with. Whether service was lacking, a product was defective, or the reviewer was simply having a bad day, it is important to handle negative reviews tactfully. Social Stamina has compiled seven simple tips to keep in mind when responding to negative reviews online.

Respond Quickly To The Review

It’s important to respond to ALL reviews within a few days of being posted, but this is especially important for those that are negative. The longer the review sits without a response, the more likely it is to do damage to your reputation. Acting quickly shows that you care and take the time to make sure your customers are satisfied. You’ve got a good shot at winning a customer’s favor back if you are quick to acknowledge their complaints.

Acknowledge The Complaint And Apologize

It’s easy to become defensive if someone is complaining about your business, but don’t take it personally. Mistakes happen and it is good practice to own up to them rather than point fingers. Other customers who come across the exchange will see you as honest and trustworthy if you take responsibility for the issues and explain how you’ll correct it moving forward.

Keep It Classy

Believe it or not, you should treat people on the internet with respect. Professionalism goes a long way for reputation management, so be nice! You might even find that offering a product or service free of charge is worth the cost for customer retention. That being said, absolutely DO NOT offer something in exchange for a positive review. This could easily put you in hot water with the Google Gods as it is against their terms and conditions to compensate for reviews.

Do Not Fight With The Reviewer

Whether the reviewer’s claim is accurate or not there is nothing good that can come from fighting with them over the issue. This is the quickest way to help them ruin your business’s reputation and turn potential customers against you. If you find it hard to avoid a fight, this is an instance where walking away from it for a day is actually in your best interest.

Take The Conversation Offline

If you’ve followed all of these tips and the reviewer continues to be unpleasant it may be time to ask them to email or chat on the phone. This will allow you to continue the conversation in a more personal and private setting and prevents the negative comments from piling up.

Do Not Beg For A Positive Review

It can be tempting to pressure people to leave a positive review, especially if you’re trying to hide some hate you may have received. The trouble with asking your customers for feedback is that reviews that are not genuine come across as just that… disingenuous. To avoid sounding pushy try posting a request on your social media “Let us know how we did! We love to hear about your experience.” You’ll tend to get the most positive and honest feedback from this more indirect approach.

Respond to the Reviewer with Media

Media is a great way to show the reviewer that you care about their complaint. Share a video addressing their concerns and explaining how you’re working to resolve it or a picture of the improvements you’ve made based on their feedback. People engage with content, so why not use that to your advantage. Any potential customers who check out the review will immediately be drawn to the media you’ve replied with.

Nobody enjoys getting negative reviews, but if you handle them appropriately you can turn them into examples of how you value your customers and ensure a positive experience. Social Stamina thrives because of the reviews that we’ve received, good and bad. If you’re interested in reputation management services, give us a call at 848-444-1393 for a FREE consultation.

Social Stamina