Customer services

How to respond to negative reviews

15 Oct 2020

5 top tips – responding to negative feedback

We’ve talked a lot about why providing excellent customer service is so important, but the truth is, all businesses make mistakes – customers have different expectations and things can go wrong. 

Bad reviews are damaging, so being able to turn negative reviews into positive business engagement will help you protect your business and your brand. While you can’t control a person’s review, you can control your response – here’re some top-tips on how to respond to negative customer feedback.

The customer is always right (Even if you don’t think they are). Arguing the fact you think your customer is wrong can be equally as damaging as your negative review. Sounding sincere and empathetic in your public response can actually flip the situation and help frame your business in a positive light.

Take it offline
Avoid an online public battle. Leave a sincere public response, ask for the customers contact details and follow up with them promptly to resolve their problem.

Listen and ask questions
Really listen to hear what the customer is saying and sympathise with them. Don’t make any assumptions and ask questions to gather more information to understand what the underlying issue is.

Make it known that you’re solving the problem
Tell them you’re looking into it, what the next steps are and how you’re going to resolve the issue. If you need to go away and come back, give them a timeframe as to when they’ll next hear from you. Don’t make false promises – this is your chance to change their perspective of your business.

Take action
Get to the bottom of the issue, resolve the problem, fix the process and live and learn. Take all reviews seriously and use them to improve and refine your business. Ensure the customer knows you’ve resolved the problem and always remember to follow up to make sure their problems have been fixed and they are happy. If they are, ask them to consider removing the negative review.


Bonus tip: Request fake or misleading reviews be removed – sometimes there’re cases of mistaken identity and sometimes reviews are not authentic (We’ve been victims of this ourselves!). Report any fake reviews to the appropriate platform so they can be investigated and hopefully removed. 


Use both positive and negative reviews to adapt, evolve and improve your business. Yes, some reviews may be a ‘one-off’ and possibly not fair, but it’s likely that they’re a sign that a process needs to be reviewed and something needs to change. Keeping on top of your policies and processes, and continually reviewing and updating them is key to ensuring consistency. Don’t forget, 94% of customers say that a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business, so following the right steps and handling negative feedback is a must (Source: Review Trackers). Having the ability to embrace negative feedback, listen, learn and adapt is an example of a great company and will only support you in your growth and success. 

If you need help with ensuring your customer service levels are consistently at the highest standard, consider outsourcing your customer service to Solid8. Keep costs low, improve efficiency and ensure high service levels are maintained. We’re experienced in supporting businesses of all sizes both in Basingstoke and across the world. 

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