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What To Do With Negative Reviews

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You received a negative online review. What should you do?

Online reviews have become an important part of building a brand’s reputation. People looking for products or services typically refer to online reviews to help them decide.

Learn how to make sure your company puts the best foot forward!

Best Practices for Handling All Reviews

  • 91% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business (source: BrightLocal).
  • 69% of job seekers would turn down an offer from a company with reputation problems (source: Corporate Responsibility Magazine/Allegis Group Services).

No Review Should Be Ignored

  • Every ounce of feedback is appreciated and helpful for a brand/organization. Current and potential consumers find reviews a vital component for their buying decisions.
  • Responding to a positive or negative review within a time window of one to three days is important.
  • Choosing to not respond can sometimes cause sensationalism of a review, causing it to go viral and perhaps reflect wrongly on the brand/organization’s reputation.

People Who Leave Positive Reviews

To show that you are listening to all types of reviews, respond to all positive reviews. It doesn’t have to be in-depth.

  • Thank the customer/client for leaving a positive review.
  • Reaffirm specific brand/organization location and employee who made the experience positive, if applicable.
  • Add some type of invitation or plug in regards to a future promotion(e.g. “We’d love to see you again for our special…”)
  • Encourage the positive customer to follow social channels so they can be in the loop of promotions.
  • Sign your name at the end of the response.
  • Print out the positive review and place on an announcement board/e-newsletter.

People Who Leave Negative Reviews

Be human and willing to apologize, if necessary.

  • Take a moment to evaluate the review to make sure it is genuine.
  • Express gratitude and be accountable. Do not push blame onto other customers/clients or staff members.
  • Take responsibility if the brand/organization or staff is at fault.
  • Be private: If it is something that might require deeper investigating, ask that they contact you via phone or email.
  • Always sign your name at the end of a review response. This illustrates authenticity and personal connection.
  • Avoid being generic. Instead, make it as custom as possible. Mentioning their name and reiterating their negative circumstance(s) will help.
  • ALWAYS correct the situation by providing a resolution, whether it is intangible or tangible.

Author: Brett Gauger

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