Every company is bound to get a negative review at one point in its lifetime. How a company responds to those is important, especially from prospective new customers’ points of view. You want to respond to negative reviews before they drive those potential customers away. So what’s the best way to respond to negative reviews?

Responding to negative reviews

First, don’t let emotions dictate the response. Instead, get to a calm mental state and respond in a professional manner. This may mean stepping away for a few moments to get to that point.

Crafting a Response

Address the reviewer so that they feel like they are being heard. Use their name, if it is available.

Say thank you. It shows that the company values unsolicited feedback and is always looking to improve.

Apologize, sympathize with their experience, and take responsibility. Even if what happened was an unusual occurrence, an unfortunate incident, or the company was clearly not at fault. By apologizing and sympathizing, you’ll establish and strengthen trust between you and the customer and create reassurance that the problem will be addressed.

Make things right. Include details about their experience and offer ways to make it right. If there is nothing that can be done, let them know that you truly value their feedback and will be looking at how to improve for the future.

Lastly, take the conversation offline as soon as possible. Direct message, call or meet with the customer to speak directly about the incident. The easiest way to do so is to provide direct contact information in your response. This shows that you care, and also takes the conversation private to prevent further embarrassment or outside interference.

Review Other Reviews

Take a look at other pages with lots of reviews and see how those companies are responding. What works, from your point of view, and what doesn’t? Craft your response so that you have it ready when needed… but don’t employ a copy/paste technique. It is impersonal and both current and potential customers will notice. Have a template as a foundation, and employ the tips from above to give a personal response that makes the customer feel heard and appreciated.

How have you handled negative reviews in the past? Do you have other suggestions that have worked for you?