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15 Tips to Handle Negative Customer Reviews

15 Tips to Handle Negative Customer Reviews (1)

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Getting negative feedback from customers is never fun, but it’s a reality of doing business. The important thing is how you handle that feedback. 

A single bad review on yelp, social media, or your Google account can’t ruin your business, but how you respond to it can make all the difference. 

Don’t Take it Personally

Keep in mind the review isn’t a personal attack. It’s critical to remember that when a customer leaves a negative review, they’re critiquing the company, not you personally. 

No matter how tempting it may be, don’t let the criticism get to you—this could tempt you to make a rash, unproductive decision.

Respond Politely and Professionally

When responding to a negative review, it’s important to remain polite and professional. 

This will help to diffuse the situation and show other potential customers that you’re willing to listen to feedback and make improvements.

Thank the Customer For Their Feedback

Thank the customer for taking the time to provide feedback, even if it is negative. 

Doing so demonstrates that you value and learn from all feedback, positive or negative.

Acknowledge the Problem

Don’t try to deny or downplay the problem that the customer is experiencing. This will only make them angrier and more likely to leave a bad review. 

Instead, acknowledge the problem and apologize for any inconvenience or frustration that was caused.

Offer a Solution

After recognizing the problem, the next step is to propose a remedy. If there is a way to help the customer, explain how they can do so.

If there’s nothing you can do, apologize sincerely and assure the customer that you’re available whenever they have additional questions or concerns.

Keep Your Response Short and Sweet 

When responding to a negative review, it’s important to keep your response short and sweet. 

No one wants to read a long-winded explanation of what went wrong–they just want to see that you’re willing to listen to feedback and make improvements.

Don’t Get into a Back-and-Forth Argument With the Customer

It can be tempting to argue with a negative reviewer, but this will only make things worse. It will make you look unprofessional and give the impression that you’re not willing to listen to feedback or make changes based on customer input.

If you find yourself getting into an argument with a reviewer, take a step back and remember tip #2: respond politely and professionally.

Respond Promptly

You should always respond quickly to criticism. Your inaction will only make things worse.

Responding quickly demonstrates to the customer that you value their feedback and are committed to finding a solution.


Apologize to the customer even if you don’t believe the negative review is warranted.

Apologizing demonstrates that you understand the customer’s frustration and are sorry for the trouble you’ve caused them.

Take Action 

An easy apology may not always appease the customer. Action may be needed to fix the problem in these situations.

Possible solutions include:

  • Giving the customer their money refunded.
  • Replacing the item.
  • Offering some other form of compensation.

Make sure your next move is fair and just.

Keep Your Cool 

Especially if the reviewer is being rude or insulting, the urge to strike back can be strong.

But keep your cool and stay out of an argument with the customer.

Even if a customer complains about your product or service, remember that your ultimate goal is to make them happy and keep their business.

Take the Conversation Offline

Ask for the customer’s contact information to continue the conversation offline and address their concerns in greater depth if necessary.

It demonstrates that you are invested in finding a solution and making things right for the customer.

Take Responsibility

The truth is that we all make mistakes at times. When we slip up, we must accept accountability for our actions. When problems arise with something you’ve created or provided, it’s your responsibility to fix them. 

It is essential to prioritize the customer’s needs and resolve their issues promptly and courteously.

Be Empathetic

Keeping your cool and being helpful when dealing with an irate customer is indispensable. To do this, you can try visualizing yourself in the customer’s place to gain insight into their situation. 

What could be the source of their anger? To put yourself in their shoes, what would you want or expect? That way, you can respond to a negative review in a way that is more likely to ease the tension.

Follow Up After Resolving the Issue

Ensure the customer is happy with the outcome by checking in with them after fixing the problem.

This is significant as it will go a long way toward establishing credibility and ensuring future business.

Embrace the Power of Reviews

Online reviews are more important than ever before. A 2019 study found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations—and that number will only increase; according to another study, by 2023, online reviews will make up 10% of the entire internet.

So, what does this mean for businesses? You’re missing out on a huge opportunity if you’re not leveraging your online reviews. 

How Online Reviews Affect SEO

Using your online reviews as part of your SEO strategy is a great way to get the most out of them. How? Inviting customers to share their experiences on platforms like Google and Yelp.

These reviews serve two purposes: they increase your site’s fresh content (which search engines love) and your click-through rate (CTR), both positively correlated with your site’s position in search results.

So, start pushing for customer feedback on your website immediately if you haven’t been doing so already.

How Online Reviews Affect Your Bottom Line

Positive customer feedback can affect sales in addition to its SEO benefits—these reviews have been shown to increase revenue by 5-9% for businesses on average.

Thus, if your digital marketing campaigns aren’t producing the results you’d hoped for, focus on creating positive online buzz.

Online reputation management is critical to any digital marketing strategy—and 1SEO Digital Agency is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you boost your business with positive online reviews! 

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