How to Manage Negative Reviews

How to Manage Negative Reviews

how to manage negative reviews

How to Manage Negative Reviews

Google is the most popular online review platform. 59 percent of consumers use it to read reviews. 54.7 percent of consumers read at least four reviews before buying a product or service.  79% of consumers say they trust online reviews.

No business wants to have to think about negative reviews – but inevitably every business will have to face this problem – it is a matter of when – not IF.

No matter how carefully and cheerfully you service your customers – there just are some people out there that you will not be able to please and will bring their dissatisfaction to your online platforms.

It is highly suggested that you think about how you will deal with a negative review before you get one.  In fact having review policies and procedures in place NOW is a way to prevent panic when & if you get a negative review.  You can handle all reviews professionally and effectively – both good and bad.

Google My Business

All Google Reviews are managed within your Google My Business profile.  So it is very important that you have ownership, control, and access to your GMB profile.  It is also highly suggested that you utilize your Google My Business profile in other ways for the benefit of your business success.  Having a high amount of positive reviews for example, increases your “rankings” and elevates your online reputation.  But also using Google Posts to feature current / recent news and updates about your business will be amazing for SEO and building your business.  Do not sleep on Google My Business.  Here are 5 Benefits of Using Google My Business 

How to Respond to A Negative Review

If you do get a negative Google review on your business, here are some suggestions on how to respond.

Respond to the Review Quickly

More than half of customers expect a response to their negative online review within a week.  97% of shoppers expect to read responses from companies on negative reviews.  The takeaway here is to as quickly as you can – respond to that review from your company profile.  

Respond to the Review Professionally

This is where it can be so very tricky.  Regardless of what actually might have happened, and if the customer is right or wrong, from a public point of view your response to a negative review should be apologetic and professional.  It is highly suggested to NOT engage online in a conversation trying to justify your position or respond in anyway with details about the complaint. 

Take the Conversation Offline

Lastly, when you reply to the negative review, do your best to take the conversation into a private environment, ideally offline.  You do not want this string of information showing up on your Google account or social media.  And if you can take it offline to a phone call or in person, there is no chance of your responses being copied and pasted into other online forums.

Example of a response to a negative review:

“Thank you Joe for taking the time to leave us a review.  We are very sorry to hear you did not have a good experience.  We take our customer service very seriously.  Please call our manager – Kelly at 555-555-1442 and she will personally address your concerns immediately.”


In summery the absolute BEST PRACTICE when you receive a negative online review iis to respond immediately – apologize, and ask the person leaving the review to contact your business offline.  It is NOT best practice to engage in any form of argument, rebuttal, or explanations.  

Be professional.  Be prompt.  Take it Offline

Still having issues with an unhappy customer – or they are really taking things way too far?  You do have protection against customers damaging your reputation online.  This is illegal and you do have protection.  You can consult your lawyer and look into what remedies are available.  Here are some links to related articles:



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2 Responses

  1. Charity says:

    These are such great tips on how to handle negative reviews gracefully. Thanks so much for sharing them!

    • sarahclarke says:

      Thank you I’m glad you found them helpful.

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