Receiving a bad online review is inevitable when you own a business. As much as you try to make sure that every customer who walks in has the perfect experience with your business, it’s not possible to please everybody. The customer might have had a tiff with one of your waiters, or disliked the quality of your products, or expected better service from you. They might have been forced to wait too long owing to unforeseen circumstances, or some incident that occurred in your establishment might have irked them.
There are simply way too many things that could spoil a customer’s experience when they visit the business you’re managing. In these kind of cases, customers are likely to leave you a bad review with a low star rating on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor or other similar websites.
As the saying goes, there’s no point in crying over spilt milk, but you sure can work on cleaning up the mess. Customers who leave reviews do it in the hopes of providing other customers with some insight into the experience they had with your business. And more often than not, when they write about their disappointment and their concern in a review, they expect a response from someone who owns/works there. If you’re finding yourself in such a situation, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will talk about the best way to respond to such reviews, give you examples of how you can respond to negative reviews, and, give you access to a ton of templates that will help you customize your review response in seconds.
Now, time to deconstruct the perfect review response for you.

1. Negative Review Response Introduction

How you address your customer is going to be of prime importance when you start writing a response to a negative review. A customer who’s left you a really bad review is most likely gonna be either a) frustrated, b) angry, or c) disappointed with your business.

In all of these cases, they’re looking for someone from the business to either take ownership for the actions or sort the issue out (if it’s concerning something like delay in delivery, unanswered calls, etc.).You might be hearing about this for the first time ever only through the review, and it might not even be something that you are entirely to blame for; for example, third party vendors/distributors could have caused it.
In any case, you’ll need to show that you are good at serving your customers, and reassure them that this will be taken care of. Which means that you’ll have to start with an apology, and a personalized one in that. Don’t try to contest or argue with the customer in such a case. It will only lead to the customer getting even more infuriated, and they might spread sour word-of-mouth reviews about your business in their circles.
Keep the salutation and apology brief, but sound genuine while you’re at it. Here’s how you can start it off.

 

  • Hey Melwin,
    This is Isaac, owner of Isaac’s Bistro. We’re extremely sorry that you had a bad experience with us.
  • Hi Rebecca,
    I’m Suzana, the store manager at Ice Scream You Scream, Wilmington. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience that we have caused you.
Why this works

Both of these formats do three things right.

  1. They address the reviewer by their first name, making it a personal and non-robotic response.
  2. They introduce you – the person who is accepting responsibility for this – to the customer.
  3. They tell the customer that you regret the fact that a customer had to face a problem with your business.

A brief introduction to your response should be written with all these things in mind, always. Keep it concise, but make it honest.

2. Address the Issue

As much as the customer will be intrigued to see the notification that you’ve responded to them personally, what they really want you to do is solve the issue at hand. The next part of your response should immediately deal with the problem.

Here, you need to talk about the issue that they faced, give a brief explanation as to why it happened, and immediately talk about what you’re doing/you have done to fix the issue.

  • I understand that you were expecting the package to be delivered on Wednesday. There has been a delay in dispatch of the shipping, and our tracking system is currently under maintenance. We will be delivering the item over to you by 8:00 PM today, at the latest. I’ve spoken to my delivery manager and made sure that it will be reach you at the earliest.  
  • We take great care to make sure that the ingredients that we use, pass through stringent quality measures before being used for preparation. One of our employees seems to have overlooked the expiry date on the package that our food supplier sold to us. We’re actively working on changing our wholesale foodstuff supplier right away.

3. Make it up to them

Once you’ve given them the reason behind the mishap and spoken about what you’re doing to fix it, talk to them about how you’re going to make it up to them. Or even better, ask them what they want you to do to compensate for it.

  • Please visit our store again. We’d love to make it up to you by giving you a discount coupon for the troubles that we’ve caused you.
  • Please call me at (123) 456-7890 and I’ll sort this out for you personally.

4. The Conclusion

Once you’re done with all this, apologize once more, and sign off with a signature. Thank them for giving you feedback about it, and how you’ll work on making the experience better for other customers.

  • We wish that this hadn’t happened. We hope that we were of help here. Thank you for your feedback.

    Regards,
    Joe,
    Manager at Joe’s Burgers.
  • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’ll make sure that this doesn’t happen again in the future. We apologize for the inconvenience once again.

    Sincerely,
    Vance,
    Customer Service at Bloxco
Here are some examples of review responses that absolutely hit the nail on the head.
Responding to tons of reviews that you receive online can be cumbersome. And that’s exactly why we have free customizable review response templates that you can use to personalize all your responses. While these will serve as great places to start, make sure you add a unique sentence or two in each of these while responding to reviews for best results.

Already Have Your Business Registered?

Now it's time to take it to the top!