How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Believe it or not, the same premise applies to negative review response as it does to positive reviews. How you respond to a negative review impacts not only the reviewer but all the sets of eyes that come afterward. Seeing a business handle a particularly challenging review online suggests that management is proud of their business and willing to go the extra mile to maintain their reputation!

Learn how to navigate negative reviews with these tips from our Kelowna marketing agency and make potential clients see the light with these four steps: apologize, promote, get offline, and keep it simple.

Steps for Responding to Negative Reviews

1. Apologize and sympathize

The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience goes a long way.

2. Promote

So your Pinot Noir chocolate torte was not up to par the day this particular customer came by. If Okanagan wine-infused desserts are what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our desserts are usually a hit, we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!”

3. Move the conversation offline

Don’t open a can of worms. Keep the lid on tight by offering the reviewer the chance to reach out via phone, email, or both.

4. Keep it simple

Avoid specifics and don’t ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public.

This local Kelowna retailer gets it right when responding to a negative Google review.  Adding a customer service phone number would be a good extra too.

One Last Pro Tip:

Leave your business name, location, and category out of your responses. You don’t want your negative reviews showing up in a search.

Read our blog on How to Respond to Positive Reviews.


Apologize, promote, get offline, keep it simple.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? You can even use software to pull in your reviews from some of the Top 10 Review Websites all over the web so you can respond quickly. If you’re finding it’s hard to keep up with online reviews (both good and bad ones), Twin Creek Media can set you up with a Reputation Management app that is a huge timesaver.

Reputation Management helps cut through the clutter associated with managing online reputations. You get control over the most important aspects of your reputation, including reviews, listings, and social media.

Download Reputation Manager Brochure (PDF)

Looking to chat with your website visitors? Read our blog on How to Connect with Customers using Live Chat.

Connecting with your customers is easy with built-in smart review responses and powerful review insights backed by artificial intelligence. Contact our marketing agency to see how we can help your business.