How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews in 5 Easy Steps

Every company dreads negative online reviews, and for good reason. Negative reviews can hurt your future prospects— especially if you’re running a small business that doesn’t already have a lot of name recognition.

You’ve been reading our blog post series about all things Google Reviews. This installment is last but not least, and answers one important question:

How should businesses respond to negative reviews?

Negative reviews may seem like a nuisance, and you may wish you could ignore them until they go away. But the important thing to remember is that responding to negative reviews is essential for maintaining your brand’s reputation.

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Don’t know where to start? Follow our step-by-step guide to responding to bad Google Reviews.

1. Reply, and reply quickly.

You can’t just hope those negative reviews will go away, because they won’t. Responding to online reviews provides a way for your customer to re-evaluate their opinion of your business. In fact, about 78% of customers say that seeing management reply to their reviews makes them feel that the company cares for them. Responding quickly allows you to resolve the issue quickly.


2. Thank them for the review.

Your customer wants to be heard and respected. Starting off your reply with a thank you will accomplish this. Besides, this review may present an opportunity for your company to improve.

3. Validate their feelings.

Don’t try to dismiss their complaints or diminish their experience. Let them know they have the right to feel dissatisfied. Saying that you understand and appreciate their feedback lets the customer know that you care.

4. Reiterate your brand promises.

Let them know what your company stands for and works hard to achieve. You may do this by saying what customers can expect from your company, or what they usually receive. It is also a good rule of thumb not to mention your company by name, as this may lead to the negative review coming up in more search results.

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5. Invite them to contact you offline.

Provide the customer with contact information, like a phone number, so they can get in touch with you if they have further concerns. This way, the customer will be able to speak with someone from your company who can personally resolve the issue.


Above all, responding to negative Google reviews lets your current and future customers know you care.

You may even impress those negative reviewers so much that they change their review and let their network know about the amazing customer service you provided after an unsatisfying experience.

That’s it! That’s the last post in the series about Google Reviews. Now go forth and dominate the realm of online reviews so your business can grow even more.

Have thoughts about our Google Review series? Let us know in the comments below!

Hoot Design Co. is a marketing, branding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brand identity, website design and execution, and social media marketing strategies in-person and through online courseswe're focused on your business success every step of the way.