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How to Handle Online Negative Customer Reviews Like a Pro

Brand Development

Let’s face it, bad reviews are inevitable.

No matter how excellent your products or services are, there will always be people who’d say otherwise.  Plus, it’s not like the customer experience will always be a pleasant one.  

Trust us, as a Florida internet marketing company with years of experience, we've had our fair share of not-so-great feedback while we were just starting.  

But, guess what? We didn’t let those complaints beat us down; rather, we used them as a motivation to do even better, which is one of the reasons we’re standing taller than ever.  

Did we ignore those dissatisfied clients, though? Definitely no. The key is to address their issues ASAP and doing it with grace.  

Just like responding in anger, brushing off unhappy customers is never a good idea. Other customers and prospects will begin to wonder if you really care about them, or if they can expect the same cold response from you.  

Keep in mind that 90% of consumers search and consider online reviews to make a purchase decision. Reading negative feedback may already affect the way they see your brand, though they’d still consider buying from you, especially if most of the comments they see are actually good.  

However, if they see that you’re being defensive in your replies, or that you’re only answering to glowing reviews, you’ll only end up driving them away. Just like that, you lost a potential customer.  

So, how can you handle online negative reviews as professionally as possible? How can you turn them into an opportunity to attract more customers instead of shooing them away? Allow us to walk you through!

How to Handle Online Negative Customer Reviews Like a Pro?

Answer Promptly


As we're presently living in an age where communication is instant, a speedy response is what customers are looking for. Addressing their concerns immediately shows that you're genuinely concerned about customer satisfaction.  

The sooner you respond, the better. This will make them realize that you’re really eager to solve their problems.  

Respond Appropriately No Matter What

As much as you may be itching to get your claws out, never do it, ever.  

Sure, some reviews may get downright nasty, but stooping down to that level of unprofessionalism isn’t going to cut it. It’s all going to backfire on you.

Keep your composure by all means. Think of the customer and their discontentment, and apologize for the inconvenience your product or service might've caused them. Let them know that you'll make it up to the next time.  

Put yourself in the shoes of a frustrated customer - for sure, you wouldn't find yourself buying again from that same company that didn't professionally take your criticisms.  

Keep Your Responses Authentic

A cookie-cutter and generic response is another no-no in terms of dealing with negative reviews. Your customers will sense the lack of sincerity, which will likely become a reason why they’ll stop buying from you or availing of your services.  

Take time going through your comments and respond thoughtfully, and yes, especially the negative ones. Send them a personalized response demonstrating compassion and empathy.  

Genuinely caring through emotion will certainly go a long way for your business. Customers will feel more valued. Prospects in the review section will have all the more reason to convert themselves into customers.  

Be 100% Honest

We wouldn’t be a successful Florida internet marketing company right now if it weren’t for our transparency. Like authenticity, transparency can make a huge difference.

Customers prefer a genuine response to an honest mistake. By seeing that you're owning up to your mistakes and addressing their complaints with candor, agitated reviewers will more than likely change their perception of you.  

Situations like this usually lead to an outcome that’s better not just for the customer, but for the business, too. They might even delete that comment and recommend you to their friends and family!

Thank Them


Just because someone’s expressing displeasure over your product doesn’t mean that you shrug them off. Instead, appreciate the fact that their criticisms are giving you the chance to make it right.  

After all, all feedback is useful feedback.  

Always remember that not all customers who leave harsh reviews have ill intentions. You might think that they’re only doing it to give your brand a bad image, but the truth is, most of these critiques are meant to help you improve.  

Take the Communication Offline

Here’s another good rule of thumb for handling negative reviews: Resolve the issue out of public view.  

Reach out to the reviewer as soon as you read their feedback, and avoid overstepping boundaries while you’re at it. Say sorry sincerely, ask for their contact details, and have them set a time and way to communicate personally.  

Taking matters offline not only proves that you’re totally willing to make things right, but also that you’re not just expressing an apology for show.  

Solve the Issue and Make Sure the Customer Sees It

Customers want to be heard. They want to know that their opinions truly matter to the company.  

One of the best ways to reassure your bad reviewers that you’re taking their voice seriously is by finding the means to improve your business.  

Identify the most common problems your customers face and look for ways to work on them. You might also want to apply some of the important points they bring up so they’ll see that you’re that committed to bringing quality customer service.  

Don't forget to explain to them how their feedback has positively affected your business.  

Go the Extra Mile

Although it’s not really necessary to go above and beyond, taking the extra step always makes it better for you and the complainer.

Especially if the issue is so bad, a simple apology will never be enough. Offering a credit they can use at your store won’t be a good solution either.  

So, how can you make up for a mistake that a customer of yours deems unforgivable? A gift of peace could be the best place to start.  

Gift cards, vouchers, or even a bouquet can make an impact. Something as simple as sending them a custom video or image can also possibly win them back. It's the effort that counts.  

Offer Compensation


While it’s not an obligation to offer compensation whenever someone posts a negative review, it can be necessary during certain instances.  

For example, if a customer suffers personal damage or financial loss, compensation is the very least you can do to remedy their grievances. A money-back guarantee should be enough to ask for their forgiveness.

Request the Removal of Misleading or Fake Reviews

Whether it’s your competition, a bitter ex-employee, or perhaps someone in your life who has a personal grudge against you, you might stumble upon malicious remarks that obviously look made-up.  

If this happens, make sure to take immediate action by reporting the comments to the administrators. These types of reviews are against most terms of service, which means you won’t have any trouble getting them removed.  

Looking for a Florida Internet Marketing Company to Grow Your Online Reputation?

Why allow negative reviews to pull you down when you can change your perspective and turn them into something that can lift you?  

Applying the tips above won't only alleviate the issues your customers may have about a certain product, but it can also keep them engaged and loyal. Plus, prospects who are impressed with how you handle such comments won't hesitate to buy from you.

If you feel like you need more online visibility and organic traffic, consider working with Digital Resource. We’re not just an SEO and web design agency, but we also specialize in reputation management. Allow us to help your business gain widespread popularity in the virtual world.

Schedule a free consultation today.


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