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How To Respond To Online Reviews

Handling Bad Reviews Online

Online reviews say a lot about your business. You should develop good habits to help you navigate the process of dealing with all forms of reviews, from positive to negative.

Creating good communications with a quick response time can help boost your online presence.

Why Reviews Are Important

Reviews can do a number of things to help you promote your business and allow potential customers to choose you over your competitors.

  • Create positive feedback on your business.
  • Boost your search results by up to 15%.
  • Create a positive online reputation.
  • Build brand loyalty.

Responding To Good Reviews

Don't forget to say thank you, show your customer that you appreciate their business. Responding to your good reviews is just as important as responding to the bad ones.

Handling Online Reviews
  • Don't sound like a robot - every review shouldn't have the same response.
  • If their review talks about a specific service or product, thank them for it and offer something related for their next visit.
  • Tell them that you can't wait to see them again.
  • Use their name, so they know you're real.

This is a great way not only to show your appreciation but upsell your business and invite new customers through the doors. Create an inviting atmosphere.

Responding To Bad Reviews

Negative reviews are a part of life. Separating your feeling from the review can be challenging, but you need to be diplomatic when responding.

Handling Online Reviews

Don't let the review fester online. Do your best to respond as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is to recover the customer. You should try and respond the same day or the next business day.

  • Get the conversation offline as soon as possible.
  • Keep your response simple - you don't want to get in a fight in front of everyone.
  • Don't accuse them of anything.
  • Don't ever argue with them.
  • Always try to offer a way to resolve their issue offline.
  • Be sympathetic without admitting fault.

When you respond to any review and especially a bad one, remember that everyone can see it. Handle the issue with professionalism and class to make sure you don't make the situation worse.

Response Example: "Hi John, we are sincerely sorry for the negative experience you had. We want to learn more about what happened and do everything we can to earn back your business. Please call Jane at (999) 999-9999 at your earliest convenience, and we look forward to speaking with you."

Myths To Avoid

There is a lot of misconceptions about reviews out there, and you shouldn't believe everything you hear.

  • Deleting your account to get rid of the review - your reviews won't disappear.
  • Paying to have the review removed - you can't pay to have your reviews removed.
  • People don't care about online reviews - they make judgments about your business based on your reviews.
  • Your star rating is all that matters - how you consistently treat your customers is what matters.
  • Online reviews are hard to get - with a bit of effort, you can unlock a ton of reviews.

Many businesses dismiss reviews as hard to get and will tell you how much they don't matter. The truth is that they matter a lot, and they aren't hard to get.

Just asking your customers for reviews will help you boost your reviews. You also need to understand that people read your reviews and make decisions on your business based on those reviews. Don't fall into this trap of making excuses.

Handling Fake Reviews

Fake reviews are annoying, but you have to keep your cool and know your options.

  • Flag the review for deletion.
  • Don't publicly challenge the authenticity of the review.
  • Double-check policies to see if they violated any other policies that will help your case.
Handling Online Reviews

Don't get consumed by the fake review, and start focusing your efforts on getting more positive reviews. Knowing it's up there for everyone to see can be nerve-wracking, and sometimes you won't be able to get the review removed.

Know The Policies

You should know how to interact within each community. Knowing your rights can help you remove negative reviews for policy violations.


Yelps content guidelines go both ways, and you can have reviews removed if these guidelines are violated in any way. Some keys to getting a review removed on yelp are:

  • Anything that doesn't address the core of the customer experience.
  • Fowl language.
  • Threats/harassment.
  • If any private information is publicized.


Facebook's community standards are essential to who they are, and they will not stand for anyone that violates those standards. The community is free to voice concerns as long as they do it with consideration. Here are the standards the community as a whole is held to.

  • Authenticity
  • Safety
  • Privacy
  • Dignity


Google's contribution policy is vital to maintain its community of users. When any of these policies have been violated, they will remove any reviews in question. Here are some of the reasons a review will violate that policy.

  • Spam / fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Offensive
  • Conflict of interest

Help Your Customers Leave Better Reviews

Not all reviews are created equally. One word reviews definitely don't carry as much weight as a more detailed review. When you ask a happy customer for their review, stress the importance of leaving a robust review about what they loved most during their visit.

Taking a little time to educate your customer can help boost your business.

Good Reviews Affect SEO

When you cultivate good business reviews, it can boost your business by up to 15% in search results. Search engines can factor in the quality and quantity of your reviews.

There is a close link to reviews and SEO because it is providing the customer the best result for their needs. Having good reviews allows you to rise to the top of the list.

Build Your Success

There is much more to online reviews than you may have thought. Following these guidelines can really make a difference to your online reputation. Don't wait - get started now.

  • Create a plan on how to respond.
  • Make sure you respond to everyone.
  • Be polite!

Stick to a process that works for you and build the customer relationships your organization deserves.