Negative reviews on your Google Business listing and other online review platforms can be damaging to a business’s reputation. It is important for companies to respond quickly and appropriately in order to maintain consumer confidence.

You can respond to a negative review:
No matter how bad a review is, there is usually a way to turn the situation around by taking the right steps. The most important thing when responding to a negative online review is to stay calm and take ownership of the situation.

If the complaint is valid, (you were late, the product broke, you didn’t follow up, or there was a breakdown in communication) acknowledge that there was an issue, that YOU caused it, and then apologize for any inconvenience caused. Add an assurance that it won’t happen again.

Be nice!
Showing that you care about your customers and their experience goes a long way in turning the situation around, so make sure your response is courteous and professional. Additionally, it may be appropriate to offer some kind of resolution such as a credit, discount, or coupon code. Even if it’s just something small – as this will show that you value their loyalty, and are trying to do something to rectify the situation.

Case Study: There’s a bad review hanging out there on your business listing – now what?

The worst case may be that you just blew it, you were having a bad day, you didn’t understand the situation, you said something dismissive; and now the customer is mad about it. There’s an angry complaint on your review page. Now what do you do? Here’s a DON’T and a DO to consider.

DON’T leave a bad review hanging there for 2 years without a response!
Sure it’s awkward to say you made a mistake, but it’s better than saying nothing. Don’t let that complaint sit there like errant latte’ foam in your mustache! Viewers may be thinking, “Aren’t they reading this?”, “Don’t they see this?”, “Do they care?” “Why aren’t they saying anything?”

DO respond with an apology
Sometimes you just have to say that you blew it. “I am sorry, I didn’t understand your situation and my response wasn’t very helpful. I’ve learnt my lesson and it won’t happen again. I hope you will accept my sincere apology.” At the very least, you can say you’ve done everything you can to make it right. A sincere apology, and a small token of appreciation might event turn your complainer into a fan!

A sincere apology, and a small token of appreciation might event turn your complainer into a fan!
In Summary:
  • Negative reviews are going to happen
  • You need to respond to them
  • A prompt response is important
  • You might have to admit that you blew it
  • Responses to reviews show reviewers that you are proactive
  • People will see you are humble enough to admit you made a mistake
  • You may be forgiven and get another chance with that customer
  • These behaviours will help make you #1 in the humility department. Then you can start working on sincerity (joking!)

If this is too much work for you, contact us and Unrivald will help manage your review responses. Click here to book a free 30 minute discussion about Reviews and Reputation management.

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Gary Pitcher

Web Developer

Gary has forgotten more about technology than most of us will ever know. He’s worked in dozens of industries in a wide variety of roles and solves difficult problems recreationally. By the time you’ve formulated your question, Gary already has an answer, which would be annoying except he’s so darned nice about it.

Adrian Proctor

Web Developer

When you put Adrian behind a keyboard, magic happens. On stage, that means he’s making music. At work, he’s bringing website designs to life. Adrian is probably the quietest member of the Unrivald Digital team, but when he speaks, we all listen because we know he’s got something important to say.

Shaheen Bhimani


Shaheen is the guy you want in your corner when you’ve got a complex problem to solve in the next 15 minutes. He’s part MacGyver, part Tony Stark and part while still being the nicest guy in the room, hands down. His soft-spoken, down-to-earth vibe and ability to deliver makes him a client favourite.

Blair Shunk


Whether leading a meeting, riding his motorcycle, or running in the Banff Jasper Relay (for which he was Race Director for many years), Blair connects with the world around him. He inspires his team to work hard while never forgetting the value of the relationships he builds with clients.