Tips For Replying to Negative Reviews

Tips For Replying to Negative Reviews

As a small business owner, receiving a negative review can feel like the end of the world. It makes you question what you could have done differently to make your customer happy. It can also impact the number of consumers that click on your business.

So, what should your next steps be?

This video has you covered! One of our senior digital marketing strategists, Leah Fraleigh, is here to present five tips to help you respond to negative reviews. Watch the video, or read the transcript below to learn more.

Our Top Tips for Replying to Negative Reviews

Hi, my name is Leah and I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks on how you can respond to negative reviews.

Okay, so you got a negative review. Understandably, you might get a little upset. These are your clients; these are your customers; these are your patients as a small business owner.

So, you’re probably familiar with the situation. But, chances are you probably have a little bit of a different perspective than they do. So, step one, really simple: take a step back, relax. You don’t want to reply when you’re emotional and you don’t need to fuel any digital fires, especially in a place as public as the Internet.

After you’ve cooled down, take the time to respond. But, don’t take too long. The majority of customers do expect a response back within a week. You’ll want to acknowledge that you saw it in a timely manner. Twenty-four hours is best, but definitely no more than a week.

Getting a negative review is a great time to sharpen your skills at taking the moral high-road.

So, understandably you probably have a different perspective on the situation than your angry customer. But, the people who are scrolling past and seeing your review have no perspective at all. So, take a step back, apologize for it, even if you don’t think that it was your fault.

And, no matter how much you want to argue back, don’t. Thank them for their feedback and invite them to call your office to voice any further concerns. That way, you can respond to them in a more private medium.

If the customer still hasn’t acknowledged your review response, that’s okay. The majority of them probably won’t.

But, the silver lining is that you can take steps to bury that review with a lot of positive ones. So, if you had a customer or a patient in and you know that they had a great experience, ask them to leave you a review. Seventy percent of your clients will leave you a review if you just ask and the more that you ask, the easier it is to bury those reviews.

As a last tip, remember that negative reviews aren’t the end of the world.

As a customer, if I’m scrolling past your business and I see a negative review, it might not apply to me, or I might not care. Or, depending on how you responded to it, it might even work in your favor. So, take those negative reviews in stride, and use them to grow you, your staff and your level of care and services. Thanks so much for watching and for more tips, be sure to check out our blogs at

To summarize what we've learned:

  1. You must take a few minutes to cool off before you respond to a negative review.
  2. Take the appropriate amount of time to respond. Twenty-four hours is the perfect amount of time, but do not wait longer than a week.
  3. It's crucial to "be the bigger person" when replying to your business's negative reviews and always apologize. Invite your reviewer to call you for additional feedback on what you can change to keep their business.
  4. Your customers will care more about five positive reviews than one negative review, so always ask your happy customers to leave you a review. Chances are they'll take the time to do so.
  5. While it's disappointing to receive a bad review, use it as a way to better your business.

For more information on review marketing, check out these resources:

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