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How to Respond to Neutral or Negative Reviews

We all get negative feedback from time to time and it is hard to hear, but it can be an opportunity for growth and improvement and can even strengthen customer relations when handled well. Having a small percentage of negative reviews is nothing to panic about and can sometimes help people feel like your over-all rating is more “real”. It’s even better if you have a good response to a bad review because it lets people know that you are willing to work with dissatisfied customers. Your BxB Web Coach can help you navigate difficult situations around reviews, but there are some essential tips to keep in mind.

Quick Response

It is always important to respond quickly to reviews—but especially when there is something negative or concerning in the review. Having said this, if the review is insulting, hostile, or otherwise inflammatory, be sure to allow yourself time to calm down before responding. You do not want to come across as defensive or attacking. Your BxB Web Coach can help you craft a message if needed.

Resolve Off-Line

Be sure the person responding has authority (or access to someone with authority) to make statements about the problem. Respond with empathy and a sincere desire to help and then MOVE THE CONVERSATION OFF-LINE. You do not want to get into a public debate with a dissatisfied customer. It is easy for things to spiral out of control if you are on a public platform. Arrange to have a phone call with them or use private messaging or email. Once out of the public area, each situation can be handled by the proper people in your company. If the outcome of the interaction goes well, you can request that the customer update their review, but be sure to “read the room” and only ask this if they seem to have done a 180-degree turnaround.


Viewing neutral and/or negative reviews as opportunities can really help you respond well. Always take negative comments seriously and find ways when possible to turn them into a positive with the customer. When a company can help solve a problem, it can really cement a relationship.