Best Practices

How to respond to negative reviews

Whether your online business or organization is listed on Yelp, Google My Business, or any one of countless vertical search engines, it’s almost inevitable these days that you’ll eventually receive a negative review. Or maybe it’s not exactly negative, but it’s less than 5 stars with no supporting comments or explanation. What should you do?

First, you should respond. It’s not fair that they should get the last word and sour your reputation for anyone who may find you later. You can decide for yourself what the best tone of voice is, but a few simple rules are:

  1. Be courteous. You don’t want to come off as defensive, or combative – two things that could do more harm than good.
  2. Be honest. Don’t deny the facts even if the exact details of the exchange weren’t perfect.
  3. Recount the details. Line out what happened, or sometimes more importantly, what didn’t happen.
  4. Accept responsibility. The buck stops with you. Be accountable or if the situation warrants it, apologetic.
  5. Offer a resolution or ask for another chance. Tell them you’d love another chance to earn that fifth star and look forward to seeing them again soon.

By monitoring and replying to negative ads, you maintain control over your online reputation and show that you’re an attentive, responsive, and caring individual. That’s the kind of person people like to do business with!