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How to Respond to Negative Customer Reviews
Negative customer reviews are a part of every business. As a business owner, you should never fear them but embrace them with open arms. Let's face it; all businesses make mistakes. But the sooner you understand the mistake, the sooner you can correct it. That is what customer reviews are for, which is why we want to teach you how to respond to negative customer reviews.
How to Respond to Negative Customer Reviews
how to respond to negative customer reviews

How to get more customer reviews?

Before addressing negative comments, we want to show you how to get more customer reviews. This is important because the more reviews you get, the better it is for your business. What you can do is:


  • ask customers leaving the store to leave a review;
  • create an online survey after every sale;
  • ask clients after they make a purchase online if they want to leave a review;
  • offer gifts or small surprises to customers who leave reviews;


There are many ways you can do this.

Learn about your clients

Another prerequisite for addressing negative reviews is understanding what your clients need. Don’t underestimate the importance of visitor tracking. Therefore, gather valuable data by tracking customer visits and understanding customer demographics.

Silhouettes of a business team in the background, covered with words representing a competent team.

Information like age, gender, education level, occupation, and income level can really help you to understand what kind of people you are talking with.


 Accept that problems do exist

One of the common issues with negative reviews is that business owners sometimes think there is nothing wrong with their business, and the customer is not being realistic. Brushing off a negative comment and thinking, “I cannot satisfy every customer”, is not the best approach. Also, arguing with the customer and trying to prove them wrong will only worsen the situation. This is, unfortunately, correct, even if the customer is wrong. You still need to address their comment and try to look at it from a customer perspective. They might have a point.

Remember that dealing with negative reviews might also be a marketing strategy you have not tried before. If other visitors see how you respond to negative customer reviews and improve this, they will want to do business with you. That is the best way to advertise your business as trustworthy.


Show compassion and apologize

Apologies sometimes do not work. However, it is better to give an apology than to leave it be. You did everything you could on your end.

With that in mind, it is crucial to understand the psychology behind giving an apology. Customers who leave negative reviews often feel cheated in some way. Big corporations make lots of money, and in the eyes of one client, their case might not be that important. The company has a bunch of other clients.

Thumbs up hands forming a circle.

When they complain, they want to do one of these options:


  • to send a genuine review because they are not happy with the service;
  • to vent because they are unhappy about their experience;


It is vital to analyze the tone of the message. The customer might be polite, they might be rude, and they might seem neutral in their response. All of that is important when creating a reply.

The best thing is to show compassion either way. Even if it does nothing for that particular customer, it is best to be polite, show that you deeply care about the issue, and apologize.


Try to provide an explanation

When you receive a bad review, try to understand the situation. We already mentioned how important it is to look at it from a customer perspective. As someone who controls the business, you should explain what caused the problematic situation.

Even if you were unaware of the issue, it is up to you to track the root cause of the problem and explain to the customer what happened. If you have an explanation, that means you control the situation.


However, remember that your explanation should never sound like an excuse. That is not what the customer wants. You should never try to assign blame to someone else (employee, 3rd party vendor, etc.) to save your business. That approach will only ruin your reputation and negatively present your business.


If you explain an extension to your compassionate apology, the tone of the message will feel completely different. If you do it honestly, it will feel honest to the customer.


Find a way to compensate the unhappy customer

Writing an honest apology and explaining what caused the issue is necessary, but words are usually not enough. Almost every customer that complains usually wants to make things right. If they spend their money and are unhappy with the service, you, as a business, must find a way to compensate them.


The idea of any business is to provide quality and value to customers. Your business has failed them if they don’t get quality and value for their money.

If they were not happy with the quality of the product, offer to replace it or give them a store credit for the amount of money they spent.


You can also go a step further and offer a sizable discount on their next purchase or even offer something for free.


Invite the client to a private conversation

Another good strategy to help the client is to let them know they can always reach out privately and resolve the issue. Invite them to the office, or leave a phone number or email address so they can contact you. This is a much faster and more direct way to find a solution.

A silhouette of a person jumping from circles labeled “poor”, “average”, “good”, and “excellent”.

This is an opportunity for your business as well. Overall, customer reviews are essential because they can help you improve your service level. You need this feedback.


Respond to negative customer reviews in the right way and help your business!

To summarize, while receiving a poor review is unpleasant, it is also good for your business. It will help you to improve the quality of the products and services and add value to the customers. All you need to do is respond to negative customer reviews in the right way, and you will build a trustworthy relationship with your customers.


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