3 Steps to Take When You Get a Negative Review

In today’s digital age, online reviews can significantly impact the success of local businesses. Positive reviews can be a boon, drawing in new customers and building trust, but what about those dreaded negative online reviews? They can be tough to stomach, but they’re not the end of the world. In fact, there are benefits to negative reviews.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through three essential steps that cover what to do when you get a negative review so you can make the most of the situation. 

Step 1: Don’t Panic

Receiving a negative online review can be an emotional rollercoaster for any business owner. It’s perfectly natural to feel a sense of panic and disappointment when confronted with criticism. However, it’s essential to remember that negative reviews can actually serve as a catalyst for positive change. Here’s why:

  • Negative online reviews build trust: Negative reviews often highlight genuine issues that your customers have encountered. They provide insight into real problems your business needs to address.
  • Negative online reviews build credibility: Having a few negative reviews can make your business appear more authentic. Consumers are skeptical of businesses with only glowing reviews, and a few negatives can increase trust.
  • Negative online reviews are an opportunity for redemption: Responding effectively to negative reviews can turn dissatisfied customers into loyal ones. It’s a chance to make things right and show that you genuinely care about your customers’ satisfaction.

Once you’ve come to terms with the negative review, it’s time to take action.

Step 2: Respond to the Review (or Get the Review Removed)

Timely and polite responses to all reviews, especially the negative ones, are crucial for maintaining your business’s reputation. Here’s what you should include in your response to a negative online review:

  • Acknowledge the Issue: Start by acknowledging the customer’s concerns. Show empathy and understanding for their experience.
  • Apologize: Apologize for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction they’ve experienced. A simple “We’re sorry to hear about your experience” can go a long way.
  • Offer a Solution: If possible, offer a solution to their problem. Whether it’s a refund, a discount on their next visit, or a promise to address the issue, showing your commitment to resolving the matter can turn a negative into a positive.
  • Keep it Professional: Stay professional and maintain a respectful tone. Avoid engaging in heated arguments or blaming the customer. Remember, your response is visible to everyone.
  • Follow-Up: After taking steps to address the issue, follow up with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with the resolution.

In some cases, you may come across reviews that are fake, defamatory, or violate review platform guidelines. If you believe a review falls into one of these categories, you can try to get it removed by reporting it to the review platform.

Step 3: Incorporate Feedback Into Your Business

Negative online reviews, when analyzed and acted upon, can be a goldmine of insights into your business. Here’s why it’s essential to incorporate negative online review feedback into your business strategy:

  • They’re usually the first indication of a problem: Look for common themes or recurring issues mentioned in negative reviews. This can help you pinpoint areas that need improvement before they become a bigger problem.
  • You’ll gain operational improvements: Use the feedback to make tangible changes to your operations, products, or services. Continuous improvement is essential for long-term success.
  • Highlights a customer-centric approach: Demonstrating a willingness to listen to customer feedback and make changes can set you apart from competitors. It shows that you prioritize customer satisfaction.
  • Aids in employee training: If the negative reviews mention employee behavior or service issues, consider employee training and development to address these concerns.

Incorporating feedback into your business is an ongoing process that helps you evolve and stay relevant in a competitive market.

Negative online reviews may initially feel like a setback, but they are, in fact, an opportunity for growth and improvement. Remember that no business is perfect, and constructive criticism can lead to positive change. By following the three steps outlined in this post, you can effectively manage negative reviews, maintain your reputation, and continuously enhance the customer experience.

Get More Online Reviews with GatherUp

Don’t let one negative review take over your online reputation. With GatherUp you can continuously monitor your online reviews and track the impact of the changes you make due to customer feedback. Positive changes in your business will result in more positive reviews and improved customer satisfaction. With GatherUp you can 

  • Automatically get more reviews with automated review requests
  • Monitor reviews and get alerts when you get a new review
  • Easily respond with AI-powered review responses

Don’t panic when you encounter a negative online review. Embrace it as a chance to grow and improve. Respond with professionalism and care, and always aim to make things right for your customers. Finally, use the feedback from negative reviews to make positive changes in your business, setting the stage for long-term success and customer satisfaction.



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