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Turn negative reviews into a positive for your business

Posted on 10th July, 2017 by Greg Doyle


If your business uses online review platforms to help build trust in your brand then at some point you’re going to come up against negative reviews. The importance of online reviews can’t be understated as according to research by Bright Local – 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. In this article, we’ll show you how you can help turn negative reviews around for your business.

Be positive

One of the hardest things to do when you read a negative review is to stay positive. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, your first reaction to a negative review could be to get defensive and go on the attack. However, this approach is unlikely to win any fans and could do more harm than good and escalate the problem.

You should approach all negative reviews in a positive manner and make it clear that you understand the concerns of the customer. It is also important that you don’t point the finger or blame the customer even when things are not your fault. One thing you should never do is ignore the review, failing to acknowledge the review shows that your business doesn’t care.

Provide a solution

Wherever possible you should try and provide a solution to the customer’s problem in your review response. A simple apology is not enough to overcome the negative nature of the review whereas showing the customer how you can fix the problem or issue will go a long way to showing how much your business cares.

Move the conversation offline

It is important to always respond to a review on the same platform as it was posted. So if you’ve got a bad review on TripAdvisor then make sure your response is also posted on TripAdvisor. In some instances, it may be beneficial to try and move the conversation offline in order to provide a solution for the customer. In these cases, you should make it easy for these customers to reach out to you in person or on the phone and help to move the conversation offline to resolve their issue.

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook make it easy to direct message a customer and start the ball rolling to understanding and resolving their problems. Also, make sure you respond publicly to their review so future customers can see how your business has taken action to address the concerns of the reviewer.

Flip the review

Don’t be afraid of flipping a review around when posting a response to show that the bad experience someone has experienced is not the norm for your business. Reiterating how long your business has been in business and how many happy customers you have can help to show that the majority of your customers are happy with your service and have a great experience. This works especially well when you have a lot of positive reviews to back this up.

Make it personal

There’s nothing more frustrating as a customer than getting an automated or heavily templated response. Taking the time to make your review responses personal and take away any jargon will help your response sound a lot more genuine. Being empathetic will help show how you care for your customers and show the human side of your business. This approach also makes it easier for future customers to see how your business is committed to dealing with any service issues.

Ask for an update

Where you have been successful in dealing with a customer’s problems and provided them with a solution that they’re happy with make sure you ask them to update their review. By going the extra mile to turn unhappy customers into happy customers and get them to update their review to show how your business was able to solve any problems.

Regardless of whether the negative review is updated or removed make sure you always thank the reviewer for their feedback.


Negative reviews are a normal part of business and life so try not to take them personally. Also, make sure that your business learns from the feedback that is provided as this can help you improve your business and make even more of your customers happier. Dealing with negative reviews in a professional, timely and positive manner can go a long way to helping your business come out on top and prove how much you value your customers.

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