Consumers rely on feedback from others to help them make purchasing decisions.  Reading reviews and talking with friends or family are the most common ways for people to seek advice before making a decision to buy a product or service.  As a business owner, it can be hard to not take a negative review personally.  Below are some great tips for how to handle negative online reviews.

Respond as soon as possible.  Promptly responding to a negative review shows the customer that you care and value their opinions.  When responding to bad reviews, keep your cool and make sure to not sound accusatory.  Kill them with kindness and admit fault if your business was in the wrong.  When users see negative reviews on sites like Yelp, and see a business owners reply, it can help shine your business in a positive light, amongst other bad reviews.

Respond privately if necessary.  Sometimes the situation to respond to a bad review may be best to take offline.  Yelp allows you to respond to users by email, and that may be the right choice for some reviews.  If the issue was resolved in a positive way offline, feel free to write a brief public comment on the review.

Monitor your online presence.  To respond efficiently to bad reviews, make sure you are aware of what customers are saying and where they are saying it.  Set up Google Alerts for your business name or check your Yelp for Business page often to know when reviews are posted.

Encourage positive reviews.  Add a link to review your business in your email signature, or place badges linking to review sites on your website.  Put signs in your business to promote leaving reviews on various sites.  Make sure you are not asking for good reviews, but just asking for honest customer feedback.

And if all else fails, take the humorous approach!


If your business needs help managing your online presence, the marketing specialists at Off The Wall Media are here to help.  Call 503-452-1082 or visit to learn more.