Responding To Negative Online Reviews

responding to negative reviews: indema

If you’re a designer, you know how important it is to cultivate a positive reputation online. A negative review or online reputation can destroy years of hard work in an instant. The best thing to do, is to prevent them from happening in the first place, but, there’s also the aspect of responding to these negative reviews to show how you handle these types of negative things online about your business. 

  • 94% of consumers say that a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business.
  • 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. But: 
  • 63% say that a business has never responded to their review.
  • 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews. 

The takeaway: You should definitely consider responding to negative reviews as a part of your reputation management before it drives potential customers away. Think about it: Put yourself into a customer’s shoes. If you see a negative review from a customer on a business that you want to hire, but don’t see a response you are only getting one side of the story. If you see a response, you’ll be able to immediately tell how the business handles these kinds of situations, which builds brand trust. 

So, the big question: How to Respond to Negative Reviews  

Responding to bad reviews is hard as It is! Your emotions get the best of you, you want to justify yourself, you want to show this person who is right and who is wrong, but it’s not always about who is right and who is wrong. It’s about doing WHAT is right! And this is showing your professional side of the story. 

Here’s a template that you can use to learn how to respond to negative reviews:

Dear [NAME OF REVIEWER], thanks for sharing your feedback. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations. It was an uncommon instance and we’ll do better in the future.

Please feel free to reach out to [INSERT CONTACT INFORMATION] with any further comments, concerns, or suggestions you wish to share. We would love to make things right if you give us another chance.

Something simple, short and professional will go a long way. In this example, you aren’t admitting fault, and aren’t pointing fingers. You are asking them to give you another chance, as what they experienced is not the normal for your business. It’s always best to display that you are aware of their feelings, and are willing to help them see the good in your business. 

Say Thank You

Saying thank you goes a long way with reviews! Even if it’s negative, you want to show the angry customer that you do truly appreciate their feedback. Here at Indema, we believe in fearless feedback both internally as well as by customers that use our platform. Feedback is what drives us to do better, so we are thankful for the feedback we can get even if it’s negative! 

Here are some variations where saying “thank you” goes a long way:

“Thank you so much for your review. I’m sorry to hear you had a frustrating experience, but I really appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention.”

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re sorry you had a bad experience. We’ll strive to do better. ”

“Thank you for letting us know about this. Your feedback helps us do better. We are looking into this issue and hope to resolve it promptly and accurately.”

Apologize and Sympathize

Saying sorry is not at all an admission of guilt or that you agree about the customers feelings whether or not you agree with them. Even if it’s not your fault, say sorry anyway. This is a great opportunity to establish and strengthen trust between your company or brand and the customer. 

Just like the rest of the response, keep your apologies short and sweet:

“We apologize that our service did not satisfy your expectations.”

“We’re so sorry that your experience did not match your expectations. This is on us.”

“We set a high standard for ourselves, and we’re so sorry to hear this was not met in your interaction with our business.”


Take Responsibility

Don’t make excuses. Even if what happened, actually happened. Take ownership- you are the business employee or owner, so it’s your duty to understand that you have to take full responsibility for something that happened. While doing this, hold yourself and your company to a high standard, that this response is of good quality just as you expect the customers experience to be. 

Some things you can say:

“I’m so sorry for this experience. We’re normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark. Please accept our apologies”

“We always aim to deliver a great experience, and we are gutted when we don’t meet expectations. Thanks for taking the time to bring this to our attention. We will use the feedback to make us better and to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

“Thank you for posting a review and we’re sorry to hear that your experience was not up to standards. We would like the opportunity to talk and investigate your feedback further.”

Some other things to keep in mind as well, is to ask for a second chance, make things right, and also consider taking the conversation offline and kindly asking the reviewer to either remove it, or re-write it after you’ve made things right. 

Test this out on some negative reviews you have! Let us know how it went!