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How should a seller respond to negative reviews on the Internet?

Agnieszka Szczepanowska
14/12/2023 | 4 min read
How should a seller respond to negative reviews on the Internet?

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    Over 97% of consumers regularly check reviews online. When they want to buy a specific product, they first make a choice based on the information found on the internet. Then they look for the best seller, using predictable criteria. Attractive price is just one of them. The second criterion concerns safety.


    When a store has a lot of negative comments, up to 66% of potential buyers are willing to cancel the transaction. Does the hairdresser cut the hair shorter than agreed with the client? I will look for someone who can listen. Does the restaurant serve stale food? I will visit the competition. It doesn't matter if there are many unfavorable opinions. Their content... and the company's reaction matter.


    How to fight negative reviews on the Internet?


    First of all, change your attitude. Don't fight. Accept them as a fact. Remember that only those who do nothing don't make mistakes. The more actions you take, the greater the chance that you will eventually not meet someone's expectations. What's important, as your business grows, you will become a bigger threat to competitive companies. Some of the negative content may come from them.


    Respond to criticism as quickly as possible.


    This is how you show that you take your customers seriously. A true professional is not afraid of confrontation. And for that, they carefully monitor their listings, even if they are on multiple platforms. Proper tools can facilitate a quick response, such as appropriate tools. By using them, you will receive notifications of reviews in real time.


    Your company is professional. Show it.


    The key to a good reputation is respect. Specifically, respect shown to all stakeholders. Therefore, restrain your spontaneous reaction. Take a breath and respond according to the template below. Remember that you are publishing your response publicly. What does that mean? It will be read not only by the dissatisfied customer. Its content will influence everyone who sees it.



    Acknowledge the author of the negative comment.


    Why? Because the customer is always right. Negative reviews on the Internet about your products or services don't come out of nowhere. There is always a specific reason behind them. Try to understand the customer's unmet need. Then publicly acknowledge its importance. This small gesture usually calms down the critical buyer and shifts the conversation in a completely different direction.


    Offer a solution.


    Once you understand the problem your customer is facing, simply solve it. Let's discuss this with a specific example. Imagine you run a catering company. A review appears on your website from a customer who didn't like the food they received. Do you know what a professional response looks like? Don't worry! And do it officially!


    "We are very sorry that our salad did not meet your taste. As compensation, we offer a special mix of our dishes. We will be happy to deliver it to the specified address completely free of charge. We encourage you to contact us by email!".


    A few sentences that will change everything. Respect and meeting needs. And finally, a very important encouragement.


    Invite to private contact.


    Why is this important? Because private conversation with a dissatisfied customer is in your best interest. In reality, you don't want to continue the conversation publicly. Everything that other customers should see has been included in the comment. Besides, it's better to consider each specific case individually. This way, you can choose the perfect solution in every situation.


    Emotions or logic? Just draw conclusions.


    Responding to reviews should not be limited to providing a professional answer. Treat the comment as a source of information about your company. Then use it to improve the quality of your services or products. Is the problem in customer service? Address it. If it happened once, it will happen again if you don't react. In this way, negative reviews can help you develop your business and better adapt it to consumer requirements.


    Can an administrator delete company reviews?


    One might think that it would be best to simply delete bad reviews. In practice, however, it is not easy. Reporting to an administrator makes sense only when the review contains content that violates the portal's regulations. Even then, you are not guaranteed that your request will be accepted. Moreover, before any action is taken, the negative comment will be read multiple times by users. That's why you should react. Quickly and professionally.

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