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How to Handle Negative Reviews Online

It happens to the best of us. Negative reviews about your product or services are spread on social media. It isn’t something to take lightly. But how do you handle negative reviews to protect your reputation?

According to a survey by marketing platform Bright Local, 68 percent of consumers say they are more likely to use a local business that generates positive reviews online, while 40 percent say negative reviews will likely shy
them away.


Brian Greenberg, owner of TrueBluLifeInsurance.com, has written for publications such as Quora, Forbes and Apple News on how businesses can handle negative reviews.

He says business owners need to first apologize directly to the customer and see what can be done to fix the problem. Trying to solve the problem offline is the ideal solution. Once doing so, follow up with the customer to make sure the
issue has been resolved, and then ask if they’ll remove the negative review or post an update.


One big no-no is deleting all the negative comments on your own site. 

Having nothing but positive reviews tends to raise the eyebrows of some potential customers who may question if all those glowing reviews are real.

Marketing guru Neil Patel of NP Digital said leaving negative reviews on your social media pages show potential customers the sense of a worst-case scenario and that it’s important to you and your business that the customers are satisfied. 

Patel also says you need to develop a game plan on how you will respond to negative reviews and act quickly when the need arises. That plan will also help ferret out the real complaints from the trolls and those just looking to financially benefit from posting false bad reviews.


  • Respond quickly
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Take the conversation offline
  • Show empathy to let the customer know you want to find a solution to their problem

According to Greenberg, thinking of the review process as an extension of the customer service experience can help ensure that even unhappy customers can become repeat customers.

Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.