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How to respond to negative reviews

No business is perfect and sooner or later you’re going to receive some negative reviews. Let us show you how to respond to a negative review and turn a bad review into a potential new sale.

  • 94% of consumers say that a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business.
  • 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.
  • 63% say that a business has never responded to their review.
  • 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews.

But how can you respond so your business can actually flourish after a negative review?

1. Respond within 24-48 hours

The sooner you respond to a negative review the better. It shows that you are on top of your game and quick to make things right. It prevents others from reading the negative review without your response to it.

2. Show empathy and acknowledge the frustration

This is harder than it sounds. You might absolutely disagree with what is being said and it is easier to react with a frustrated response. But sometimes it is better to react with kindness and understanding rather than anger. Our business is our life and it is easy to get offended but acknowledging their pain goes so much further.

3. Take responsibility

Who really likes to say “sorry” and owning a mistake – especially if you are not directly responsible. To apologize and take responsibility shows your businesses confidence and strong values. It makes you more trustable and likable. We are all humans, we make mistakes, and owning it is a superpower.

4. Provide an explanation (if needed)

Look into the problem that is being shown in the review and investigate. Was there miscommunication or a technical problem? Did you do what was asked but the client never received it? Explaining can be helpful especially when someone who is interested in your service is reading the negative review. Try to be specific and clarify what the problem was and how you can fix it.

5. Offer to resolve the issue offline (via call/email)

Calling the client can go a long way. Try and immediately resolve the issue and calling or directly emailing them shows you really care.

6. Make it right (offer money back, discount, etc.)

Making it right, even if it wasn’t your fault, is key! Go above and beyond to repair any damages, and offer discounts or money back. The person might be surprised by your responsiveness and kindness. Lots of bad reviews get deleted this way and the client relationship can even be restored after.

Webware.io services can help you with responding to and managing all your online reviews.

Our online reputation management services include:

  • Notification of every review posted
  • Access to all reviews via a single platform
  • Solicit and receive more positive reviews and endorsements
  • Simplified and quick management of reviews across multiple sites
  • Ongoing curation of your online credibility with our experts


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