Love Hurts: How to Manage Negative Reviews

Love is in the air these days. However, to quote Mr. Bon Jovi, a bad review can be a “shot to the heart.” Don’t let negative reviews give love a bad name. Dealing with feedback – not all of it accurate or fair – can be incredibly frustrating.


Handling negative reviews can be tricky (but not impossible). Keep these tips in mind.

  • Respond quickly. More than 75% of consumers say that seeing management respond to online reviews makes them believe that the business cares more about them (ReviewTrackers).

  • Don’t get emotional. Negative reviews can feel like personal attacks. But if you let your emotions take charge and respond to the review in an angry or frustrated tone, it can get real ugly real fast. You definitely don’t want to go viral on social media because of a response you had to a negative review.

  • Try to take the conversation offline. Ask the reviewer to get in touch with someone at your office — and give that person a heads-up in advance. This will help you find out what really happened while also avoiding any online arguments with the reviewer. Keep your response brief, empathetic and professional. (“Thank you for sharing this. We’d like to learn more about what happened so we can make this right. Would you mind contacting our manager, <name>, at <number>? She’s expecting your call.”)

  • Take the high road. If the reviewer seems to want to argue online, reiterate that you’d appreciate the opportunity to discuss this over the phone. Don’t engage in arguing about the situation, as it will likely only end up making you look defensive. Take the high road, and others will notice your professionalism.

Mend that broken heart by responding to all reviews, good or bad. For more tips on responding to reviews, monitoring and bringing in more positive ones, check out our original post: Tips for Managing Online Reviews.

If you need a little help managing your reviews, we can help. Just contact us to set up a time to chat.