Getting negative reviews can be challenging for any business, no matter how big or small. But with the right response, you can turn a potentially damaging review into an opportunity to show your customers that you care about their opinion and experience.
Use these tips and the negative review response examples below to help you craft statements that can improve your customer’s opinion of your business. And if you need more help, check out the review responder template from Jasper AI, the AI writing assistant. It’s perfect for responding to negative and positive customer reviews.
Your potential customers are likely to read google reviews, so responding promptly and professionally is important.
Get ready to learn how addressing criticism and feedback in real-time with meaningful responses could change how people perceive your brand— starting today!
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Never Argue With the Customer and Always Apologize
It’s critical to train customer service reps. They should never argue with customers or make them feel their feelings do not matter. Instead, representatives should always provide kind and sincere apologies even when the customer is in the wrong.
This sets the expectation for a healthy discussion or resolution for whatever issue has arisen.
A great example of excellent customer service was seen in a five-star restaurant when the server accidentally served a dish that the customer had specifically asked be omitted from his plate.
While he expressed his discontent, instead of arguing back, the server apologized profusely and immediately offered him a different meal.
His good-natured handling of the situation placated any negative emotions created by the mishap and ensured that the customer still felt valued as a loyal patron of their establishment.
Online review example:
“I got my order late and was really disappointed. I paid extra for express delivery, and it never arrived on time.”
Negative review response:
We apologize for the delay in your order arriving. We understand how frustrating this must have been, and we are sorry that you didn’t get the expected service. We value your business and would like to offer you a complimentary gift as a gesture of our appreciation for your patience. Please accept our apologies once again, and we look forward to serving you better in the future.
Acknowledge the Issue Quickly
Despite our best intentions, mistakes happen. Acknowledge the issue quickly when a customer’s experience falls short of expectations.
An example of this was demonstrated recently when a customer complained on social media about one of the company’s products not living up to their quality expectations.
They responded within minutes, apologizing for the misstep and promising to reship the item immediately, free of charge, in order to make things right. The customer appreciated that they acknowledged their experience directly and swiftly and accepted the gesture to improve their satisfaction with our product.
Negative Online Reviews Example:
“I was unsatisfied with the quality of your product. It didn’t meet my expectations at all.”
Negative review response:
We apologize that our product did not meet your expectations. We take customer feedback seriously and are committed to providing you with a quality experience. We want to make it up to you by sending you a replacement item free of charge.
Please reach out to us directly so we can arrange this for you as soon as possible. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and giving us the opportunity to make it right.
Don’t Take the Negative Review Personally
Negative reviews can be difficult to read, but responding in a composed and professional way is essential. It’s important not to take the negative feedback personally or become defensive– this could only add fuel to an already unpleasant situation.
For example, let us say you are an owner of a pizza shop, and a customer posts an online review saying they were unhappy with their experience at your business.
Although it might be difficult, try to remain polite when responding. Sincerely apologize for the customer’s unfortunate experience and thank them for bringing the issue to your attention– this will show that you value their opinion and are open to criticism.
Offer solutions, if possible, such as coupons for free items or a discount on future purchases so that the customer knows you are willing to do whatever you can to make things right in their eyes.
Online review example:
“I didn’t enjoy my experience at your store. Your staff was rude and unhelpful.”
Negative review response:
We apologize that you had a negative experience at our store. We take customer feedback seriously and strive to provide the best possible service. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any discourteous behavior you may have encountered.
We understand the importance of being treated with respect and kindness, and we are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience. As an apology, we would like to offer you a coupon for 15% off your next purchase at our store. Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention; we appreciate your feedback and will use it to improve our customer service.
Why Responding to a Negative Review Helps Your Reputation Management Strategy
Responding to a negative review is always tricky, but addressing it appropriately and promptly can go a long way in improving a business’s reputation. For example, let’s say you own a restaurant, and someone posts on Yelp about having an unsatisfactory experience.
Immediately responding with appropriate language and an offer to make it up to the customer shows that your business takes your customers seriously.
The extra step of offering something special, such as a discount or complimentary meal, communicates the value you place on the customer’s feedback while simultaneously validating their experience. When handled correctly and with empathy, responding to negative reviews can turn them into opportunities for businesses to engage further with their customers and build meaningful relationships.
Online review example:
“I was not happy with the quality of your product. It didn’t meet my expectations.”
Negative review response:
We apologize that our product did not live up to your expectations. We take customer feedback seriously and are always striving to improve our products.
We want to make it up to you by sending you a replacement item free of charge. Please reach out to us directly so we can arrange this for you as soon as possible. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and giving us the opportunity to make it right.
Always Personalize Your Response
Personalizing a response to a negative review can help demonstrate care and respect to the customer and turn a negative situation into an opportunity for improvement.
For example, let’s say you own a pizza parlor and receive a one-star Yelp review complaining about the service.
An effective response could be something along the lines of “We are so sorry to hear that your experience with us concerned you; we take all feedback seriously and are dedicated to providing excellent customer service every visit.
We would love the opportunity to make this right – do you think you could give us another chance?” This personalized response shows how much the business values its customers and has potentially saved you from losing future business.
Be Professional When Replying to Bad Reviews
Responding professionally to bad reviews isn’t easy, but it’s essential to managing customer satisfaction. A great example of how to do this is by offering empathy before anything else.
For instance, if a customer leaves a negative review expressing disappointment in the product, start by empathizing with their frustration, acknowledge that they’re not completely satisfied, and express your regret over the situation.
Showing them you understand their perspective goes a long way in seeking a resolution. Then, invite the customer to contact you for further dialogue about solutions and what your business can do to ensure future satisfaction.
In this way, you’re letting them know that their feedback matters and encouraging an opportunity to improve on expectations moving forward.
Make Your Response Authentic
Creating an authentic response to a negative review is key for reputation management. An example is a customer who posted an unfavorable opinion of the quality of a product they purchased.
The business response could be as follows: “We apologize that our product did not meet your expectations. Our mission is to create quality products, and we don’t take your criticism lightly; however, it can help us improve our processes in the future.
We value feedback and take every customer’s feedback seriously when reviewing improvements that can be made.” This example shows authenticity, acknowledging the customer’s dissatisfaction while still recognizing their valuable opinion.
Additionally, the response gives a clear indication that the company listens to customer feedback and implements changes based on these reviews when necessary.
Understand the Difference Between “I Apologize” and “I’m Sorry”
Many people use the words “I apologize” and “I’m sorry” interchangeably, but it is important to understand that there is a difference. Apologizing implies culpability for a mistake or lapse in judgment while expressing sorrow acknowledges the negative emotions one feels in response to an unfortunate situation.
A good example of this can be seen in responding to a negative review. Instead of reflexively responding with “I apologize,” consider something like “I’m sorry that you didn’t have an enjoyable experience – please tell us more about what went wrong.” This response expresses genuine empathy for the customer’s feelings without blaming any specific party.
Provide a Public Response and Then Take the Conversation Offline
It can be difficult to respond to negative reviews online, especially when it appears the customer is venting their frustrations in a public forum. One tip to remember when responding to negative reviews is to provide a public response and take the conversation offline.
An example of this would be a restaurant responding to a disgruntled customer’s review by publicly thanking them for bringing the situation to their attention while requesting they send a private message so they could discuss further and look into resolving the issue.
This tactic shows that the business takes negative reviews seriously but is also dedicated to protecting customers’ privacy.
More Negative Review Examples
Our sincerest apologies for any frustrations you experienced. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we will use it as an opportunity to strive towards even better service in the future. We are taking full responsibility, making amends where possible, and ensuring that this situation won’t be repeated in the future. Rest assured that your satisfaction with our services remains a top priority!
We want to express our sincere regret for the disruption and disappointment you experienced. Your feedback is treasured, so we are committing ourselves to learn from it and making meaningful changes to ensure superior future service. We acknowledge full responsibility for this mistake, apologize wholeheartedly, and vow to take action that prevents similar occurrences in the future.
We regret that your experience with us was not up to our usual high standards. We take all feedback seriously and will use it as an opportunity for improvement – working hard to ensure you have a positive future encounter with us. Your satisfaction is important, so we’ll do whatever is necessary to address the issue and prevent any similar circumstances from occurring again.
Negative Response Templates
- Acknowledge the unhappy customers concerns in a timely manner: Begin by acknowledging the customer’s experience and the issues they’ve raised. Show that you understand their perspective and that you take their feedback seriously.
- Apologize: Express your apologies for the negative experience the customer had. Be sincere and take full responsibility for any mistakes or shortcomings on your part.
- Take action: Let the customer know what actions you will take to address the problem and prevent it from happening again. Be specific and provide a time frame, if possible.
- Offer a solution: If appropriate, offer a solution or compensation to the customer, such as a discount, refund, or complimentary service.
- Encourage further communication: Let the customer know that you are available to speak with them further if they have any other concerns or questions. Provide your contact information and encourage them to reach out to you.
Here is an example of a template using the above points:
“We’re sorry to hear you didn’t have a positive experience. We understand your concerns, and we take all feedback seriously. We apologize for the poor service you received; we assure you this is not up to our usual standards.
We will take the necessary steps to address the issue and prevent it from happening again. As a gesture of goodwill, we would like to offer you a discount on your next purchase. If you have any further concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [insert contact information]. “
Customers trust online reviews, so you must respond to negative customer feedback as a business owner.
Positive and negative reviews are both important as reviews act as recommendations to potential customers. Responding to negative reviews shows that you care and value the customer’s opinion while also providing a chance to turn a bad experience into a positive one.
By following the template above, you can create an effective response to unhappy customers and help make sure their negative experiences don’t reflect negatively on your business. Doing so will help to maintain a positive online reputation, which is essential for success.