We get it; you take pride in the work you do, and someone writing a negative review online can hurt you in many ways. Your initial instinct may be to respond and defend yourself, explaining what happened from your experience, but that isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it. Keep reading to find out how to respond to both positive and negative reviews of your small business.


Positive Reviews

Although you may feel inclined to only respond to negative reviews, it is just as essential to respond to the positive ones. If someone took the time out of their day to write something sweet, the least you can do is acknowledge them. Keep in mind that people tend to only write reviews when they have a really bad experience, so the fact that someone wrote something nice is absolutely great! Start by thanking them for writing the review, and acknowledge that they took the time to do so. Then reiterate whatever they said was good about their experience and offer to pass along the kind words if a specific employee was mentioned. If you can throw in your company name in your response for SEO purposes, go ahead and do so. Lastly, invite them to come back and bring their friends or try the new thing that you are currently offering. See below for a sample response!

“Thank you “____” for your kind words. We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback, and we totally agree, “Bob” really is such a hard worker! We will pass along your nice words to him; he will surely be pleased. We would love to serve you again soon. We actually just added some new items to our menu that we are confident you and your friends will love. Can’t wait to provide you with exceptional service again!”


Negative Reviews

Before you go and respond to that negative review, take a moment to reflect and take a few deep breaths. The last thing you want to do is react with anger and come across as entirely unprofessional. So, before you start typing, consider the following questions:

  • Is any part of their review true?
  • Can we learn or grow from this experience?
  • Even if this event didn’t happen exactly as they said, why do they feel like it did?
  • What did the customer experience that we can prevent from happening in the future?

Now that you’ve had a moment to reflect, you can start responding. Remember, even if you don’t remember things going down the same way that the reviewer stated, it’s essential to consider why they felt that way. Do not negate their personal experience, because only they know how they felt. Start by apologizing for the experience. For legality reasons, don’t take responsibility for the problem, primarily if you work in the medical field or currently have lawyers involved. You don’t want to admit fault, but you do want to say you’re sorry that their experience was a negative one. Then, explain what went wrong. Even if you don’t feel like you did something wrong, explain that there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding of expectations. Simply acknowledging that there was an issue will make the reviewer feel better. Explain what you can do better in the future or what you are taking away from this experience. Even if you can’t fix their feelings towards you and your company, you can utilize it to ensure that future clients don’t feel the same way. Lastly, invite them to come back and assure them that you will earn back their trust. Always end on a positive note! See below for a sample response:

“Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are disappointed to hear that your experience wasn’t a great one. We understand that wait times can be frustrating, and we are working on a better system to ensure that customers are seen in a timely manner. We hope that you will stop by again soon and afford us the opportunity to win back your business.”

So, when it comes to responding to reviews, there are right and wrong ways to approach the situation. Remember, prospective customers and clients are reading these reviews, and your response will show them how you handle tough situations and how you respond to constructive criticism. The absolute best way to ensure that all reviews are addressed accordingly is to enlist the services of a reputation management team like iZone!