How to Respond to Bad Reviews

Ronn Torossian
2 min readMay 11, 2023

Online reviews have a big impact on consumers’ perceptions and purchases. Positive ones can boost sales and reputation, while negative ones can hurt them. Bad reviews are especially difficult to handle as they can spread fast and hurt a company’s reputation. But with the right strategies, companies can handle and respond to bad reviews on digital platforms.

Monitoring and Responding

To handle bad customer reviews, companies must track and respond to them proactively. Regularly check online review platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, social media, and industry-specific sites. Respond to negative reviews quickly, ideally within 24–48 hours. This demonstrates a commitment to resolving the issue and taking customer feedback seriously. Delayed responses may be seen as indifference and worsen the situation.

Staying Calm and Professional

Responding to a bad review can be tough. Especially if it’s unjustified or inaccurate. It’s important to remain calm, composed, and professional. Companies should avoid being defensive or confrontational. This can make things worse and reflect poorly on the business. Instead, acknowledge the customer’s feedback, show empathy, and offer a constructive solution. Use polite language and avoid arguing with the reviewer.

Addressing the Concerns and Offering Solutions

To address bad customer reviews, respond to specific concerns raised by the reviewer. Avoid generic responses and provide personalized and thoughtful replies. Apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused, and offer solutions to resolve the issue. This could involve a refund, replacement, discount, or other appropriate resolution. Be transparent about the company’s efforts to rectify the situation, demonstrating a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Taking the Conversation Offline

Companies should respond to negative reviews publicly to show a commitment to resolving the issue. But it’s advisable to take the conversation offline when possible. Providing contact information or a direct email address allows the company to address the issue privately and personalize the response. This shows that the company wants to find a solution and is willing to work with the customer.

Learning from Feedback and Improving

Negative reviews can be valuable feedback for businesses. They can help identify areas for improvement in products, services, or customer experience. Companies should take the feedback seriously, analyze the root causes, and take appropriate measures to address them. Communicating the company’s efforts to the reviewer and wider audience shows commitment to enhancing offerings and providing a better experience for customers.

Keep in mind that bad reviews are not what breaks a company. They can be turned into opportunities, if handled properly. With the right strategies, companies can handle bad reviews effectively and boost their reputation.



Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is Chairman & Founder of 5WPR, one of America’s leading & largest PR Agencies and the Author of the best-selling PR book: "For Immediate Release"