5 simple guidelines to respond to a negative online review

In today’s digital marketplace, majority of consumers base their purchase decisions based on online reviews.

Consumers are quick to post a review or a comment online about a product or a service provided post purchase. This reviews are available to a everyone on the internet in real time and usually significantly influence a business’s reputation and consumer’s buying behavior.

1. Don’t take it personally

Never take negative reviews personally, even if you were part of the service provision. When responding to negative reviews it is important to stay calm and to take the time to respond to it as professionally as possible.

2. Don’t take too long to responde

The sooner you respond to negative reviews the better chance you have to rectify the issue. Having a specific person assigned or having a system to help manage reviews will help your business stay on top of it.

3. Be sincere and not defensive

Bad reviews are opportunities to grow and learn about your business. They also help you build a relationship with your customers, if you approach it in the right way. Try and be as genuine and authentic in your responses to make the customer feel valued.

4. Plan ahead

Have a structured plan to responde to reviews this way it will be easy for you to make things right as soon as the review pops up, it also removes emotion form your response.

5. Follow up

After apologizing include some contact information for the customer to reach out to you. Offer to make things right. Do not mention your business name in your response to help keep bad review out of search engine results.

Once the situation is resolved, follow up with dissatisfied customers and potentially ask the customer to update their review.

If you are struggling with responding to your online reviews please contact our marketing professionals at Elby Marketing.


Rose, G. Blodgett, M R, J G. B, 2016. online reviews, service failure and recovery, reputation management. Should Hotels Respond to Negative Online Reviews?, Volume: 57 issue: 4,, page(s): 396-410.

Nicol, Dave. “Turn Those Bad Reviews around: How Should I Respond to Negative Reviews of My Practice That Came up during a Google Search?(PRACTICE MANAGEMENT Q&Amp;A)(Interview).” Veterinary Economics, vol. 53, no. 4, 2012, p. 8.

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