Uh oh… Your first one-star review came in through Facebook recommendations for business. Though getting a negative review can be disheartening, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, if you know how to respond in a timely and apologetic manner, you may be able to turn the situation around. Interested in learning how to turn those negative reviews into positive outcomes? Keep reading!

Key Online Review Statistics

Before we jump into how to respond to negative reviews, let’s first look at some key statistics that demonstrate the power of online reviews and Facebook recommendations for business:

  • 78% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or family member
  • If customer feedback is entirely positive, 95% of consumers believe the reviews are fake.
  • 80% of consumers believe a business cares about them if it responds to reviews

It is clear that online reviews play a large part in whether or not customers will do business with you. So, if a customer leaves a negative review, it is important to take the time to respond in order to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Respond Promptly

The sooner you can address the problem, the better. Responding in a timely manner shows that 1) you are paying attention to what your real customers are writing about your products and services, 2) you have a high standard for your product and services and this customer’s negative experience is not the norm, 3) you are willing to take care of your customers and correct your mistakes.

Apologize for the Negative Experience

The most important thing you can do when responding to a negative review is to apologize. Acknowledge that the customer had a negative experience and offer a solution to the problem.

Make it Right

Take responsibility for the customer’s experience and make it right. If the customer is dissatisfied with a product, offer to send them a replacement. If the customer had an issue with shipping or delivery, offer to refund their shipping costs. Whatever the problem may be, do what you can to make it right for the customer.

Thank Them for Their Feedback

Even though the feedback may be negative, thank the customer for taking the time to provide feedback. This shows that you are interested in hearing what your customers have to say, good or bad.

Keep it Concise

Finally, keep your responses short, sweet, and to the point. No one wants to read a long-winded response, especially from a company. A simple apology and explanation of how you plan to make it right are all you need. Just make sure to keep your response aligned with your brand voice!

Take the Discussion Offline if Necessary

In some cases, it might be best to take the discussion offline in order to protect the customer’s privacy and control what the rest of your customer base can view. If a customer raises a sensitive issue or complaint, you can reach out to them through a private message or email. This way, you can address the issue without airing dirty laundry in public.

Learn from your Mistakes

Finally, take some time to learn from your mistakes. If you received multiple negative reviews about the same issue, it’s time to take a closer look at your product or service. Use the feedback you receive from customers, both positive and negative, to make necessary changes and improve your business.

How NOT to Respond to Negative Reviews

Now that we’ve gone over how to respond to negative reviews, let’s take a look at a few things you should avoid doing.

Don’t Delete or Ignore Negative Reviews

It might be tempting to delete negative reviews in order to protect your business, but resist the urge! Deleting negative reviews will only make you look bad. In fact, 78% of consumers say they do not trust a business that deletes its negative reviews. If you delete a negative review, you are essentially saying that you don’t care about your customers and their experiences with your product or service.

Don’t Get Defensive

It can be difficult to read negative things about your business, but it’s important to keep your cool. Getting defensive in your response will only make the situation worse. Remember, the customer is always right, even if they are wrong. No matter how rude or unprofessional a customer may be, attacking them will only make you look bad. If you must address the customer directly, do so in a professional manner.

Examples of Excellent Responses (Plus a Template You can Use!)

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how to respond to negative reviews, let’s take a look at some examples of excellent responses.

1. Keep it Short and Sweet

This local business responded to the customer’s dissatisfaction promptly and respectfully. They genuinely apologized for the negative experience and offered to take communication offline to correct the issue.

2. Apologize and Correct

This store owner apologized for the customer’s restaurant experience and offered to connect with them over email. They indicated that they wanted to offer an experience that better aligns with company standards and concluded the response by thanking the customer for their feedback.

3. Be Genuine and Take Responsibility

This customer was unsatisfied with the restaurant’s long wait for a drink. The owner’s response is genuinely apologetic and assures the customer that their long wait experience was abnormal. They express to the customer that they hope they will get a chance to prove their excellent service at his next visit.


Here’s a template you can customize to respond to negative reviews:

“Thank you for your feedback, [NAME OF REVIEWER]! We’re sorry to hear that you had a negative experience with [PRODUCT/SERVICE], and we appreciate you taking the time to let us know. Our valued customers are very important to us, and as you can see from our other reviews, your negative experience is an unfortunate exception. We would like to resolve this issue for you. Please reach out to us at [CONTACT INFORMATION] so we can make things right. Thank you for your business!”

This is a great example of how to turn a negative review into a positive opportunity to build trust with potential customers! You can also use this template to respond to positive reviews, simply by changing the wording to reflect a positive experience instead of a negative one.

Bad reviews don’t have to be a bad thing! If you know how to respond properly, you can turn a negative review into a positive outcome. Keep these tips in mind the next time you receive a negative review and watch your business grow!

Digital Marketers Can Help

As digital marketers, we have a deep understanding of how to connect with customers and create lasting relationships. If you’re struggling to respond to negative reviews on Facebook recommendations for business or don’t know where to start, contact DKODE Technology today!

Have you ever had to deal with a negative review? How did you handle it? Share your story in the comments below!