How to Respond to Negative Reviews as a Business Owner

It is summer where everyone is out and about, exploring cities, traveling and trying new things, such as food, activities and travel. Just in case one of these urbanites leave you a negative review, here are tips for how to respond to them.

Know What’s Being Said About Your Home Business

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While your social media manager can monitor what’s being said about you, it doesn’t hurt to keep track of it yourself as well. Whether you hire out or need to do it yourself, you can manage your online reputation, using tools such as Google Alerts.

If you use a social media tool, such as Hootsuite, you can easily set up a feed that lists your mentions for your networks. Another option is to use Yext, a tool not only can monitor social media but also places such as Yelp.

Take a Deep Breath


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When you find a comment, feedback, or a review that isn’t positive, take a deep breath. Your initial reaction will likely be negative, either feeling hurt, or angry and defensive. It is possible there is some truth to the review that you need to know about and deal with.

After you feel the initial “ouch” of the comment, take a deep breath to calm your emotions, so you can move on to the next step.

Determine If There is Truth to the Review

Once you’ve taken a calming breath, re-read the comment with an eye towards what is being said about you or your product/service and decide if the negativity is valid.

Sometimes, a negative review is justified and if you respond accordingly, it gives you the opportunity to improve your service.

Decide If You Should Respond

Not all reviews need or should have a response from you. Sometimes people are just mean or rude.

However, there are times when a response is important. A thoughtful, customer-oriented response can help you save a customer/client, as well as show potential customers/clients that you’re responsive to their needs.

If the review indicates that the problem is an error on your end or something that can be fixed or improved on, consider responding to it.

See If You Can Make the Situation Right

If you determine that the reviewer has a legitimate complaint and you’d like to try and fix it, here’s how to respond.

  1. Make sure you’re responding in a timely manner.
  2. Respond directly to the person leaving the negative review.
  3. Thank them for taking the time to leave a review, and if there is something positive mentioned in the review, thank them for that too.
  4. Apologize for the problem.
  5. Offer a solution that will make it right, or indicate changes you’ve made the remedy the situation.

Always Be Polite and Professional

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No matter the review or the response from the customer/client, you want to retain a polite and professional attitude.

Often, maintaining your composure and helpful attitude will diffuse the situation and calm the client/customer. Sometimes, he might even apologize for being so rude. But even if the person continues to be negative, your business brand can’t afford to have its reputation hurt by an angry client/customer. So remain professional!



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