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You’ve probably heard it before, but online reviews matter. Google has even said so themselves: positive reviews and customer-business interactions improve organic visibility. But what can you do when you receive a negative review?

We all know just how much of an influence positive reviews can make for your business, but even one negative review has the potential to turn customers away. That’s why it’s important to know how to respond to these reviews, and how to minimize their effect.


Quick Response

If someone is upset enough to leave a negative review, they typically do it soon after the negative experience takes place. Maybe even before their leave your business.

And if they’re that quick to leave a review, you better believe they will want a response soon after. A quick response is the best way to make sure their complaint feels important.

Thoughtful Response

A quick response is great and all, but they can’t be “empty” responses. Sometimes negative reviews can just be complaints about “nothing problems”, but often times they can help you and your team understand the pain points of your brand.

Because of this, you should do your best to appreciate their effort to communicate this information, and take the time to have a thoughtful response.

Honest Response

No business is perfect. We all make mistakes, and it’s best to be transparent with those mistakes rather than get defensive.

Most negative reviewers prefer an honest response to a genuine mistake with the understanding that their complaint is addressed in a fair and heartfelt manner. This method typically results in an outcome that is better for the customer as well as your business in the long fun.

Custom Response

Each customer’s complaint is specific to their experience, so your response should also be specific to their experience.

Nothing says you don’t really care about a customer’s complaint like seeing the same response on every negative review.

Take the Conversation Offline

A standard best practice for handling negative reviews is to take the communication offline as soon as you can.

The key to doing so is to make it easy to move communication offline without overstepping boundaries.

Don’t try and make the unsatisfied customer reach out to you.

Get their contact info, ask for the best way and time to communicate, and apologize for their displeasure with the business.

Thankful Response

Yes, it sucks to get negative reviews, but if something needs to be fixed, its better to get that feedback sooner rather than later.

So be sure to thank the customer for their feedback, and do your best to communicate the measures you are taking to ensure it does not happen again.

Drown Out Negative Reviews

In a perfect world, once you’ve spoken to the person who left a negative review, they will see how you’ve listened to their feedback and tried to correct the mistake, and remove their review. But that rarely ever happens.

So the best way to lessen the impact of negative reviews is to encourage customers to leave positive reviews.

But why do we have to convince customers to leave positive reviews when we don’t have to convince them to leave negative reviews? Because people like to complain more than they like to praise.

If someone has an amazing experience at your business, they are just going to go about their day and maybe tell their significant other how great the experience was. But if someone has a bad experience, they will tell everyone they see that day just how bad it was, and in some cases will take it online.

Because of this, you might need to give those people who had positive responses a bit of a nudge to leave a review. A large portion of customers will leave a review if you give them a friendly reminder, but if that doesn’t work, you might have to resort to giving a discount on their next purchase after leaving a review.

No matter what you do, a review strategy is an integral part of your overall SEO strategy. And if that is something that you need help with, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or give us a call at 305-455-0720 for a free consultation.

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