Dealing With Negative Online Reviews


Negative online reviews happen, even to the best of businesses. You’ll have to deal with them sooner or later. What’s important, is how you handle a negative online review.

Here are five tips for managing negative online reviews that should be part of your Content Management Strategy:

1. Measured, Thoughtful Response

Step back and take a minute to calm down before responding. The worst thing you can do is respond to negative online reviews impulsively and emotionally.  Best practice: Write your response but wait a bit before posting it. Re-read it a bit later.  Chances are you’ll end up toning it down a bit.

2. It’s Not Personal                            

When someone posts a negative online review about your business it can even feel like a personal attack. It’s not. The review is feedback. With the exception of some who just like to provoke a reaction, the negative online review is someone’s perception of their experience with your business. And, their perception is their reality. Instead of taking offense, try to use the information to improve the experience for your next customers.  Also, be sure to let the reviewer know  of any changes you’ve implemented as a result of their feedback.

3. Respond Politely

Make sure your response is concise but polite. Both positive and negative online reviews are posted and read by your customers and potential customers. So, if your response is dismissive or condescending, you run the risk the reviewer could make the situation worse by posting your message on the web in places you haven’t even thought of. Wait until you calm down, grit  your teeth and thank your reviewer for the business and the feedback.

4. If You Ignore It, It Will Not Go Away

Negative online reviews are a reality. Ignoring them only make it worse by making it possible for things to spiral out of control. Contacting the reviewer (most online review sites give you that option) and attempting to establish a relationship, can actually improve the situation and possibly change their mind about your business. Customers want to know they are being heard. We’ve seen many a negative review amended after the reviewer was contacted by the business and accordingly, gave the business a second chance.

5. Check Online Review Sites Regularly

Responding to negative online reviews months later doesn’t just looks bad, it is bad business practice. If you find you need help managing your online content, social media or online reviews there are qualified firms that can help (we can think of one off the top of our heads).

Dealing with negative reviews properly can be a frustrating and time consuming task. If you have questions or need help, just let us know.