According to, 67 percent of users are influenced by online reviews when making a purchase. Customers rely on reviews to because they are looking to make a wise choice, and every successful business will have its failures or low moments. Many industries are fueled by online customer reviews, and almost every company that has been around for a period of time will receive a poor review at some point. The key to responding to negative customer reviews is to see the incident as an opportunity rather than a loss. Consider some best practices below for turning your negative customer review on Google, Facebook, or Yelp into an opportunity for business growth:

1. Make The Decision To Respond

Many people will think that the best response is no response. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth – no response is a response. It communicates that whatever was expressed in that poor review was not important enough to be addressed formally by the company. This approach further validates the reviewer’s claim that the company does not properly care for its clients.

2. Seek To Fix The Problem

It’s not enough to merely acknowledge the disgruntled customer. Th problem needs to be fixed. Learn in detail what the customer experienced and investigate those claims yourself. When you demonstrate you’re actively trying to resolve the issue, that shows the customer (and everyone else) that you truly want to help. Not only does fixing the problem make that customer happier, but other potential customers will also see how diligent you are in satisfying your customers.

3. Take The Discussion Offline

If you have a particularly ornery negative review, remember that everyone can see everything you say. You most likely will not want contest any of their claims online, as that would seem as if you are simply arguing and being defensive. The best way to handle these people is to take the discussion offline. Let the customer know you heard them and then ask them to call or email you personally so you can resolve the matter. Even if the person doesn’t call you back, anyone that sees that review discussion will at least see that you tried to rectify the situation. That goes a long way to building trust with future customers.

Other tips:

  • Don’t write responses when you’re mad
  • Thank the reviewers for taking the time to review your company
  • Keep your response short and concise
  • Personally take ownership of the problem
  • Ask the customer if they feel the issue was resolved


If you would like consulting or monitoring of your online reviews, please contact Websults to learn how we can assist your business best proactively manage customer reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Angie’s List.


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