Addressing Negative Reviews and Comments Online

Posted by Kathi Fuhrman

Ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Unfortunately, for many businesses, people aren’t afraid to communicate negative criticism wherever they can leave a review or post public feedback. Negative comments happen. And it’s important to be prepared for them.

Businesses can benefit from allowing customers to write and post reviews online. Reviews can attract new clients and answer questions about products and services. However, like most things, there are also drawbacks to this feature. 

While positive reviews can highlight the benefits of a business, there is always a chance that negative reviews and comments will also accompany them. How these comments are addressed can highlight your professionalism and care for your customers. 

So, let’s dig into how to appropriately address negative reviews and comments that may be found online.

Why reviews matter

Social media, Google Business Profile, and websites often provide a space for customers to post their experiences with a business. When negative comments and reviews are left, it’s advisable to identify the product or service the customer is unhappy with and offer a solution that will satisfy the consumer. This demonstrates professionalism and great customer service from your business.

Interestingly enough, a study from Harvard showed that responding to negative and positive reviews increases the number of reviews received in total and increases ratings by an average of 0.12 stars. 


When crafting a response to negative comments, try to avoid getting defensive. Instead, dig deeper into the issue and remain polite in the response. 

Here is an example of how to respond to a negative review: “We are disappointed to hear that you had a bad experience. Please contact our office to discuss your experience in more detail with our team. We would be happy to help resolve the issue.”

The response provided should offer a useful solution to the unsatisfied customer. If the customer feels attacked, they could take the situation further, and nothing is resolved. Listening to the customer and providing a solution makes it possible to turn a negative review into a positive one! Then both the customer and the business benefit.

If the review is not specific about the issue, responding allows the customer to elaborate and have a personalized solution offered. 

If the review is specific about the issue, providing the solution in the response can not only solve the issue but also show care and attention to current customers. And that will likely make the business more attractive to other potential customers. 

Of course, not all customers will be willing to communicate more about the issue – and some are just posting to vent. But your willingness to reach out to them may make a difference in how they feel about your business. 

Building a better business

At the end of the day, if a customer is unhappy with a product or service your business provides and you’ve done all you can to resolve the issue while remaining courteous, you might just need to learn from it and correct it for the future. As your business continues to respond positively to criticism and negative feedback, operations and workflows will improve and open the door for future positive reviews. 

If you need help responding to negative feedback or increasing positive reviews for your business, our team of professionals at Fuhrman Creative is ready to help!


About The Author

Kathi Fuhrman

Kathi Fuhrman, owner of Fuhrman Creative has many years of online marketing experience.

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