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How to Respond to Negative Reviews 2024

Professional guidance on managing customer feedback: how to respond to negative reviews with an image of a person using a smartphone to rate a service, emphasizing the importance of handling criticism constructively.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews: Negative feedback happens to everyone. Knowing how to respond to negative reviews and manage those harmful comments is key to mitigating the damage and protecting your brand’s reputation. 

86% of consumers will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews.

When you respond to negative reviews online, it goes a long way!

Negative reviews are becoming all too common in today’s digital world. But knowing how to reply to a bad Google review is not as simple as many would assume.

About 68% of all purchasing decisions are based on online reviews. In addition, a customer referral with a negative review is more likely to be shared more than positive online reviews.

Therefore, it pays to take the time to inspect your online reviews and customer feedback routinely. Negative reviews can be detrimental to a company. We see online reviews everywhere, such as Facebook reviews, Google reviews, Better Business Bureau reviews, and more.

The good news is, there are ways that you can hide, fix, or completely remove negative reviews legally. Get the reviews you deserve. Review generation is real, do not miss out and wait until your competition beats you to it. Your customers have feedback and our review program ensures their feedback is seen online.

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How to Respond to Negative Reviews

First, Take a Deep Breath: There is a Review Solution

It can be difficult to brush off critical feedback about your business, but it’s important to take it seriously. It is hard enough to get reviews or customer feedback in the first place. So, take time to show others you care by responding to reviews, good or bad. Resist the urge to respond with a sarcastic or defensive reply. Learn how to respond to negative reviews in a polite and timely manner. Addressing negative reviews too aggressively may have more detrimental effects on your business.

These days, negative feedback is simply a part of doing business. Take a deep breath and keep this in mind. Virtually every successful business has been subject to negative online feedback. Large corporations have full-time staff dedicated to managing their online reputation for this very reason.

Take a Deep Breath

Do You Need to Call a Lawyer?

In most cases, you won’t need to hire a lawyer to have negative reviews removed. Knowing how to delete a negative review can be as simple as contacting the reviewer and asking. If they were a customer you may have contact information where you can reach out to resolve any issues. By offering an incentive such as a gift card or a free product you may completely change how they feel about you. Who knows, they may leave a positive review talking about it!

The only exception would be if you find out that a competitor has been posting negative reviews. Or if you are being blackmailed. Another situation could be that the review places a threat on your life. If the customer review falls into any of those categories or similar ones, it’s best to consult with your lawyer.

Work with Social Media Influencers to Get Reviews

For most bad reviews, the answer is to bury the reviews under an avalanche of great content. Negative reviews generally lose their power over time. You can expedite that process by working with social media influencers who can present your business in a positive light to their followers.

The key to making this work is relevancy. When doing your review research to find social media influencers. Make sure that their brand aligns with the customers that your business targets to get the best results.

It’s a long-term process that requires you to build relationships with influencers. This way owners know that they’re not compromising their own brand by promoting someone they don’t fully believe in. For example, this could mean that you must allow them to test out your products or services in exchange for a video testimonial on YouTube or an Instagram story.

NetReputation works with groups of reviewers across the country where we can ship off your product and ensure a review is left! 

Respond to Reviews Publicly

Most review platforms allow you to respond to customer reviews. Take the sting out of a bad review by responding directly to it and offering your sincerest apologies.

It doesn’t matter if the review is unjustified because you’re sending the message that you care. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for reviewers to amend or even take down their initial negative comments because you reached out to solve their problem.

Almost all platforms give businesses the opportunity to respond to negative reviews or comments. Once you’ve cooled down, take advantage of this opportunity. Ignoring the comment can give other readers the impression that you do not care what they have to say. Knowing how to respond to a bad review can quickly resolve any conflicts before they worsen.

Respond within 24 hours. It’s acceptable to wait a few hours but not a few weeks. During those few weeks, other people are reading the negative review without the benefit of understanding your side of the story. You want to find the balance between being too eager and not caring about the negative comment.

Make sure your response is in line with the subject matter of the negative comment. For example, if the review misrepresented what happened, clarifying what actually occurred can help. On the other hand, if the review pointed out a mistake that was made, sharing what actions were taken to resolve the complaint is usually the most prudent way to respond. In all cases, keep your response positive and to the point. And remember: the tone of your response is just as important as the content.

Respond to Negative Reviews piggy bank

Fix the Problem

Take time to read and analyze each of the negative reviews that have been left about your business. If everyone is saying they are experiencing the same problem, there’s a good chance that you need to fix something internally.

A written response is a great start, but you can take further action to turn the negative review into a positive stepping stone for your business.

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If the review was accurate, think of it as useful feedback to help improve your business. Often the issues that reviewers bring to light are easy to fix by coaching employees to provide better customer service. Be sure to note the steps that were taken along the way to remedy the issue in any responses you write.

If a negative review or comment was inaccurate, evaluate why you might be getting such a review and how often you get poor reviews. Is a disgruntled employee or competitor undermining your business? If so, how can you get the person to stop? Should you hire expert help to protect your online reputation?

The answers to these questions are different for each situation, but they are important to consider. A poor online reputation can be embarrassing, do what you can to resolve any and all issues with your clients.

Turn A Negative Review Into A Positive One | Review Generation

We live in an era where people judge everything and everyone. If a negative review or comment appears on one of those sites, it can feel like a personal attack. However, while it is never nice to be criticized, it is important to remember that you can respond to negative reviews in a way that turns negative commentary into something positive.

When people complain, they do so because they want to be heard. The worst thing you can do is ignore them, you may be fueling the fire. You must learn to respond in an appropriate and thoughtful manner. Doing so will enable you to turn a negative into something positive. Research has shown, in fact, that a simple response can turn a negative review into a positive in 33% of cases.

Act on Customer Feedback

The first thing you have to do is respond to negative reviews quickly as possible. The more quickly you are able to address things, the more manageable the situation will become. Ensure that you have all the relevant information on hand and start by clearing up any misunderstanding that exists. Responding in a personal manner shows you have effective customer service policies in place. 

The second thing is that you must take the time to truly listen. It is all too easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and respond immediately, but that is not always the best solution. Similarly, if the counter-response is not as effective as you would have hoped, you shouldn’t give up. Instead, you should listen to what is really being said.

You must ask important questions. This also gives you an opportunity to really learn from what went wrong so you can learn from it and ensure it never happens again. Your questions should be open-ended, enabling people to express what they really want to see. If anything isn’t clear to you, ask for clarification.

woman holding up smiley face card yellow

Remember that the customer is always right

When taking steps to respond to negative reviews, always remember that the customer is always right. Even if they are wrong in the reasons for their complaint, their feelings are justified and you must take responsibility for that. Customers expect businesses to be accountable for what they do and say. Hence, you should not pass the buck or shift the blame, but immediately acknowledge that you could have done better.

Doing so will give you the greatest opportunity of retaining the disgruntled customer and of showing others that you truly care.

Another thing that you have to remember is that the fact that someone complains means that they are loyal and responsive. Statistics estimate that, for every complaint that is left about you online, eight complainers kept quiet.

This is further evidence of the fact that your customer simply wants to be heard. And it also means that, when you address the issue, you are also addressing all those people who did not take the time to complain.

You also need to make sure that you actually solve the problem. If your customer has a genuine complaint, you can simply put things right. If the complaint is not genuine, you can still offer something to make them feel better. Simple things such as offering a discount on a future purchase or free postage and packaging mean a lot.

Last but not least, you need to learn from what has happened. This is perhaps the most positive thing that can come out of a negative review. It is a chance for you to see how you could perform better from an outsider’s perspective.

It is a chance for you to demonstrate to the world that you are willing to change and that you are happy to listen to anything your customers suggest. Negative feedback is an opportunity for progress. 

The Growing Problem of Fake Negative Business Reviews

Building and maintaining a positive internet reputation can be hard work. Businesses of all sizes are at risk of having fake negative online business reviews – a growing problem on the internet – undermine that hard work.

Fake negative business reviews are exactly what they sound like. They are untrue reviews and comments written on online dating sites, discussion boards, and social media.

Who Writes Them?

The nature of fake business reviews makes it difficult to identify the source. If the source can be tracked, it typically turns out to be a competitor, disgruntled employee, or an individual who has a personal grudge against the business owner.

Getting together with an IT professional or using a WHOIS tool will disclose the owner’s name if the website is public, this way you can at least contact the business for recourse.

Sometimes these people go so far as to create profiles with fake names and addresses. Other times, they hire an unscrupulous company to write fake reviews and shield their identity.

fake news example

What Can a Business Owner Do?

Protecting your business’ reputation from fake reviewers begins with monitoring your company’s online reputation. Stay up to date on what reviewers and commentators are writing. If there’s a sudden increase in the number or intensity of negative reviews even though you haven’t changed business practices, fake reviews could be the culprit.

If you identify a fake review, determine whether the platform enables you to request the removal of comments. Some online review platforms allow you to “flag” a review that is false or violates the platform’s terms of service. Review platforms often err on the side of leaving questionable reviews online because their success depends on having numerous reviews.

If you’re absolutely certain you know the source of a fake review, you may want to try asking the reviewer to remove it. But if the person wrote it in the first place, you’re likely to fail.

Hired help, like Net Reputation, is another option that can be used alone or with do-it-yourself methods. Using expert online reputation management services is recommended if negative fake reviews are more than an isolated incident or are causing serious harm to your business.

Try implementing various reverse SEO tactics when struggling to hide negative content and web pages online.

Unfair Negative Reviews

These types of reviews are often based on unfounded allegations, containing absolutely no facts, and the person who left the review usually played some part in their negative experience. Two examples of this are when someone waits to return a faulty product before the warranty date passes, or they use a product in a way other than intended and it breaks.

These reviews are usually vulgar in nature because they were never going to leave a review for a positive experience; they’re upset that they’re the ones who screwed up and are unknowingly displaying their dissatisfaction with themselves in a last-ditch effort to gain an exchange item for free.

In other cases, the reviewer cannot be appeased at all. If you decide it’s in your businesses’ best-case scenario to respond—tread lightly—or face further negative consequences.

One effective way of ensuring a positive web presence is by creating a reputation management plan.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Dealing with negative reviews can be a delicate situation and is sometimes best left alone. Is your business being blackmailed? If so, you should consider having it removed. We’re a professional, award-winning content removal agency, and with decades of experience to back you, we’ll remove the negative content within 72 hours of the request.

Last Word – The Real Secret to Getting Rid of Negative Reviews

The best way to handle negative reviews is to deal with them immediately to try to improve your customer’s experience. The last thing you want to do is ignore them because they won’t just disappear on their own.

Are you finding it difficult to get rid of bad reviews? Contact us today for a FREE CONSULTATION!

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