While nobody wants a bad Google review, most businesses will receive one at some point.

Here are some tips on replying to negative reviews:

  • Respond in a timely manner.
  • Customers will appreciate prompt responses.
  • Stay professional and courteous.
  • Never lash out and avoid taking the review personally.
  • Understand your customer’s experience with your business before responding.

If someone mentions a problem with a product or service, investigate to see what may have gone wrong. Be honest about mistakes made and steps you’ve taken (or will take) to remedy the situation. Apologize when appropriate but don’t take responsibility for things that weren’t your fault.

If this is the first you’re hearing of the complaint, invite the customer to email or call so that you can try to sort out the matter with them. It’s important to take the conversation offline.

Show that you’re authentic and genuine. Sign off with your name or initials to show you’re taking the matter seriously and that a real person is listening.

Let’s take a look at some examples of thoughtful responses to negative reviews:

“Customer name. I’m sorry to hear that you had to wait longer than expected for your table. Our goal is always to seat customers as quickly as possible and we are always working to make our process even more efficient. We hope to have the chance to serve you again. – John (owner)”

“Hi Sam – I see you left a 1-star rating, but no details about your experience with us. I would love to hear more about how we can serve you better. – J.T. (owner)”

“Michelle, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I looked into it and you are completely right – it took us 3 days to return your estimate, which is entirely too long and not in line with our promise of a 24-hour turnaround. This is not how we do business and we would appreciate the chance to make it up to you. Please give me a call directly. – Paul (manager)”

While we all want a negative review to disappear from your Google Business Profile, Google won’t remove a review unless it violates our content policy by including something like fake, illegal, or offensive content.

 If you feel it does, you can always flag it for Google to investigate.