How to Respond to a Negative Online Review

How to Respond to a Negative Online Review

12-09-22-negative-comments-on-yelpWith so many online review sites available now, negative reviews are something that many businesses fear. Although negative reviews can be detrimental to a company, answering them quickly and effectively can actually add some value to your business. Here’s how:

Reviews are essential to any business success, but what happens when the review is negative?

If you find yourself in the uncomfortable situation of receiving a negative review, the first step is to take a deep breath. Many times customers are unsatisfied, hurt, and their first line of aggression is to take their review public. How you handle any review impacts your business either positively or negatively. Responding negatively can guarantee that you will lose potential new customers:


  1. Respond with anger
  2. Ignore the post
  3. Attack the reviewer
  4. Accept any blame
  5. Refuse to remedy the situation


  1. Step back and approach the review with dignity and composure. If you find yourself still emotional, cursing under your breath, stop writing. Your main goal is to respond not just to the reviewer, but to the potential new customers reading your response online as well, and you need a calm, clear head to write the correct response.
  2. Determine if the review is a legitimate review by an accurate customer. Some businesses have the ability to look up a customer’s name to determine last date of communication, transaction, etc. If this is a false review, you can submit the review to the website as a false customer with reasons why.
  3. Try to understand the perspective of the Notice the word choice and strength of conviction behind the words. Identify where they are faulting you and consider what you can constructively take away from their comments and improve on it. Never be afraid to address constructive criticism that can make your business better. Addressing points within the post itself will show you are listening and actively interested in what the reviewer is saying.
  4. Lastly, respond to that reviewer as though you were standing on a podium in front of 10,000 potential new customers. Your goal should be to salvage this one customer AND create a potential new customer base at the same time. Never discount the fact that there will be tens of thousands of people reading how you responded to that one person and may even rally on your behalf.


However you choose to respond, make sure you have a coworker, spouse, or a neutral third party review your response, prior to posting it. Many times, these responses cannot be changed once they are posted. Getting an objective party’s accurate reading on your well-thought out response is a definite must.

Share it




Discover how River City Staffing Group makes hiring easier.

Job Seekers

Check out our job opportunities.