Handling a bad online review (the right way)

It’s no secret that the holiday rush can get a little hectic and messy, which means that your business might be seeing some not-so-flattering reviews come through online. What’s a business owner to do to rectify the company’s public reputation following a bad review? 


You always want to craft a response. Unless the reviewer is leaving comments that are completely untrue, you never want to delete the review. My best advice is that once you read that negative review, don’t respond immediately. You want to remain completely neutral in your response, and you don’t want to respond with emotion. So, take a deep breath and marinate on it for a second. You never want to come off as defensive and combative. Once you’re ready to craft your response, think through your company’s key messages. Weave those in while responding to their claims.  

Offer recompense 

This depends on the type of business you’re dealing with. Sometimes, a sincere apology is all you can do. However, if you’re able to offer some kind of compensation in exchange for the customer’s bad experience, do so. Offering a free meal, free service or discount could rectify the relationship. If you plan to do this, mention it in your review response so the public knows the steps you’re taking to make the customer happy. 

Course correct 

It’s important to take a hard look at the content of the review. As much as we love to think our business is operating the best it can, the reviewer left their comments for a reason. Take note of the points that may have some validity. And, if it’s something you need to course correct, get to it. 

At Obsidian, our strategy when dealing with negative reviews is to approach it – not with the mindset of being right but with a mindset of trying to resolve. This will go a long way and hopefully will salvage the relationship. If you need help, we’re just a phone call away!