Business Owner Dreads: Responding to the Negative Review

Reviews are an excellent tool for gauging customer and client satisfaction, and almost every business owner can attest to the feeling of pride that comes with that gleaming 5-star review. But what do you do with those not-so-good, at times, borderline rude attacks that may pop up? We’ve got some simple tips for how to engage with disgruntled clients and customers to rebuild trust and maintain your company’s reputation.


  1. No matter what the review says, ALWAYS respond!

Responding to comments from customers shows that you’re listening and putting their business first. Start by saying “Thank you” for their patronage and their feedback, then assess what needs to be said.

  1. Don’t respond immediately to poor reviews!

Responding too quickly carries the risk of responding too emotionally. An attack on your business never feels good, but it’s essential to maintain professionalism in any customer communication. Take the time to plan out your messaging and have a second person read your response to gauge tone.

  1. Get all the info!

Any issues with a customer should be thoroughly understood. What was the mishap or misunderstanding? When you know the facts, it’s easier to offer a solution to the customer or help them understand a policy.

  1. Keep most of the messaging public!

A specific issue with a customer can be handled with private messaging. More general responses should be left public. Remember that communication is a great marketing tool; if potential clients can see your diligent customer care, they’re more likely to view your business in a positive light.

  1. Check your grammar and spelling!

The number one goal of responding to any review is maintaining professionalism and that doesn’t show more than in your grammar! Always proofread before hitting ‘send.’


  • According to BJC Branding, in 2017, 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision.
  • According to Glassdoor, 68% of members say their perception improves after seeing a company respond to reviews.
  • According to ReviewTrackers’, 53.3% of customers expect businesses to respond to their online review within 7 days, an increase from 51.7% in 2017.

In our ever more digital world, reviews can make or break a business’ reputation. Be sure you’re prepared to… #1 make the time to set up review profiles (Yelp, Facebook, and Google are currently the most trusted according to BJC Branding) and #2 take the time to respond to the reviews you receive.

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active
Please review our privacy policy before accepting the terms.
Save settings
Cookies settings