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Transform Negative Review Into Excellent Customer Experience

Nearly 9 out of 10 customers read online reviews before making any purchase. This statistic alone shows you how important online reputation is nowadays. This also implies that online reviews play a big role in consumers’ buying decisions.

Plus they have high confidence and trust from their fellow consumers’ opinions. Now, if you are running a local business, 8 in 10 consumers consult online reviews for local businesses.

But chances are, you are reading this article because you got a negative review online. It’s an eyesore, not to mention how your business may take damage from those comments!

I know it must be frustrating. But did you know you can turn that searing 1 star into a marketing strategy?

Interestingly, perfect scores like 5-star ratings do not hold so much power compared to slightly imperfect scores like 4-5 star ratings.

This is because consumers believe that less imperfect scores appear to be more “authentic”.

That’s a bit of good news! But of course, a negative rating can still severely impact your reputation if not handled correctly.

The golden rule when dealing with online reviews

Before we dive into details, let me tell one golden rule about dealing with reviews, both good and bad:


Ignoring reviews is like leaving your client hanging. It’s going to be a missed opportunity. You must respond fast because it’s out there for everyone to see.

Plus, if you don’t answer, these digital onlookers can only see one side of the story. Leaving it there for others to see might escalate the problem.

Also, remember when you are answering a negative review, you are not answering the complainant alone. You are answering to your entire target market.

But don’t worry, you can turn this bad feedback into a business opportunity.

Follow our five-step system to not only contain the fallout of a negative review but also showcase your values and build your brand.

1. Apologize and sympathize with the complainant

It doesn’t matter who’s fault it is, you must apologize and sympathize to the client. Typically, you can see 3 types of online reviews:

  • To appreciate doing business with you
  • To tell you that they had a bad experience
  • To warn others

The last two types of feedback have the potential to deter potential buyers from your business but if you handle it right, it builds authenticity and credibility.

“I am sorry to hear about the unpleasant experience you had with my business”

Remember that clients reach the point of giving negative feedback because they did not reach the kind of result they expected when they first engaged with your business.
Your goal here is to emphasize that you are jumping in to sincerely solve the issue.

2. Reiterate what went wrong to acknowledge the complainant’s situation

Before you respond, review first the validity of the feedback. Unfortunately, there are a lot of spam posts. These are the kind of posts you can delete.
After ensuring the validity, reiterate what went wrong. Was it a slip-up on your end, misunderstanding? Poor quality product? Has shipment gone wrong?

Identifying the root of the problem can help you find an immediate solution. You need also to assess how angry and influential that person is to help you tailor your response.

3. Insert subtle marketing in response to the bad review

This is the time that you create your response. After apologizing and acknowledging the problem, point out that what the customer experience is out of the norm.

“I am sorry for the inconvenience. While we are known to deliver exceptional quality checking, our team may have missed something. We deeply regret this, and I am here to help”

Explaining that your other customers do not experience allows you to highlight some of your strengths to the other readers.

4. Bring the conversation away from the public eye

It’s hard to find a solution when the problem is out in the open, especially when the negative review is on social media. People may jump in and add fuel to fire, instead of finding a way that is satisfactory on both sides.

“Hi {customer name}, I am the owner/manager of {business name}. Thank you for reaching out and I am sorry to hear about your bad experience with {business name}. I am here to help and if you would like to discuss this further kindly contact me at (phone/email) and I will give you my full attention to solve this issue.”

Keep your response clear, simple, and short. This will prevent you from saying anything that might upset the customer.

Rule of the thumb: Your whole response should be a maximum of three sentences.

Moreover, do not forget to ask the customer to remove or update their feedback. This way, you can improve your overall feedback rating.

5. Always go an extra mile

Solving the issue is one way to eliminate bad feedback, but your goal here is to establish a relationship with the customer so they will come back and do business with you again or have you referred to their friends and relatives.

To make this happen, go the extra mile. You can give a discount voucher, a freebie, a gift check, or anything that will make your customer happy.

Your goal: Exceptional customer experience

Truth is, your best hope is for your customer to update and revise that negative feedback and turn it into positive by sharing their experience on how you solve the problem.

Overall, your goal here is to provide a top-notch customer experience. Nowadays, with the advent of technology where everything is almost instant, building customer loyalty means hard work.

If you already established a strong and loyal customer base, you will start treating negative feedback as a sales opportunity.

Most of this feedbacks can be seen on Google My Business, a service where Garner Group Marketing is great at. If you need help on growing your digital presence, or if you are a local business in Maryland who need a website, email us at justin.garner@garnergroupmarketing.com.

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How to find Garner Group Marketing

Garner Group Marketing
26454 Pemberton Dr. Salisbury, MD 21801


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