Responding to Negative Reviews Can Help Attract More Customers


No matter how many policies you implement or how much work you dedicate to procedures, every business has the occasional slip-up that leads to dissatisfied customers. Consumers may choose to share their sentiments on sites like Google+ Local, Yelp, YellowPages, Facebook and more. 

As a business owner, you would prefer to have 100% positive reviews, right? Think again. If prospective customers browse your pages and see all 5-star reviews, a suspicious red flag rises. Those purely positive reviews and countless, “I had a fantastic experience!” comments can seem fake. The mix of positive, negative and neutral sentiments is all part of having an honest review base.

Your first instinct may be to take the criticism and leave the negative reviews unattended, but this is not your best move. Craft clear, concise and empathetic responses.


Incorporating responses into your review management strategy can make a big difference. In example, a recent study found that hotels posting responses to reviews are 21% more likely to receive booking inquiries through TripAdvisor compared to hotels that do not post responses. The likelihood of receiving bookings increases to 24% when hotels respond to more than 50% of their reviews.

A response can help you gain a customer, or possibly even a few customers. The more engaged you are as a business owner, the higher the likelihood of bringing in new business. The response to a review can have a greater impact on prospective customers’ decisions to use your services. The main goal in responding to a negative review is to show prospects you have empathy for your customers.

The best way to approach a negative review is to keep it simple and straightforward. Follow these guidelines to mitigate negative reviews.

1. Be sure to acknowledge the issue, and thank the person for leaving their feedback.

2. Show empathy. Apologize for the person’s bad experience.

3. Try your best to resolve the issue. If the circumstances do not allow for a fix, or if you have already tried to repair the issue, then provide contact information if the reviewer would like to further discuss the problem with you.

Get involved in your customers’ conversations to achieve positive outcomes from negative situations and bring in new business. Check out the link below for more information on the TripAdvisor study.


  • I WANT negative reviews. The positive reviews are nice, but are expected. The negative reviews are a chance to learn where we dropped the ball and to help us get better. I will leave a review of a positive experience on occasion, but I will ALWAYS leave a review with a negative one. That is how I have to assume ALL consumers are.

    • Thanks for the comment Ricky and we definitely agree with you!

    • Wolfgang DeLaurentis

      Exactly, without a few negatives, it all looks like BS. I’ve asked to be contacted by you.The reviewer name is an alias for Google+!

  • Guest

    Exactly, without a few negatives, it all looks like BS. I’ve asked to be contacted by you.The reviewer name is an alias for Google+.