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November 7, 2023

When it comes to the success of your business, customer reviews are like a secret weapon!

Not only do they provide valuable feedback on your products and services, but they can also be a powerful tool for attracting new customers and growing your brand. So, if you haven't already been paying attention to your reviews, now’s the time to start!

It's natural to consider the possibility of receiving negative reviews for your business. While they can be challenging to manage, negative reviews provide valuable insights into your business operations and customer service.

This post hunts down the crucial issue of how to handle bad reviews, with a practical five-step approach that you can implement in your own business or incorporate into your freelance work.

  • Negative Reviews: How Impactful Are They?
  • Online Reviews “Speak” to People More Than You Might Think
  • The 5-Step Plan for Handling Negative Reviews

Negative Reviews: How Impactful Are They?

Negative reviews can have a profound impact on your business.

A staggering 98% of people read online reviews for products, and interestingly, 76% of people also look into the reviews of eCommerce stores. This is particularly crucial because a negative review of your store can do more harm than good.

The Damage Negative Reviews Can Do to Your Business

At this point, it's quintessential to recognize that the consequences go beyond just a lower star rating. Here's why:

  1. Damaged reputation: Negative reviews can tarnish your brand's reputation. They’re often the first thing potential customers see when researching your business. A string of negative reviews can raise doubts and deter new customers from engaging with your products or services.
  2. Decreased trust: Consumers place a high level of trust in online reviews. When they encounter negative feedback, it can erode that trust. Addressing a negative review effectively can help rebuild trust and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  3. Lost revenue: Unaddressed negative reviews can lead to lost revenue. Customers may choose your competitors over you based on reviews alone. By managing negative feedback, you can prevent potential income loss.

Online Reviews “Speak” to People More Than You Might Think

The influence of online reviews on consumer decisions is not to be underestimated. In fact, understanding the psychological aspects at play can provide valuable insights:

  1. Social proof: People tend to follow the crowd. When they see positive reviews, it creates a sense of "social proof" that your business is trustworthy and delivers value. On the other hand, negative reviews can create doubt and hesitancy.
  2. Emotional impact: Negative reviews can evoke strong emotions, both in consumers and business owners. They can lead to frustration, disappointment, and anxiety. Constructively addressing these emotions is key to managing negative reviews effectively.
  3. Perceived authenticity: Consumers can spot fake reviews from a mile away. Negative reviews, when addressed sincerely and professionally, can enhance the perceived authenticity of your business. It shows that you are transparent and willing to make improvements.

Evaluate the Negative Review: Is It Constructive or Unjust?

Now that we have explored the impact of negative reviews, the next step is to assess these reviews critically. Not all negative reviews are created equal, and not all of them are objective.

Some reviews might even be motivated by competitors in an attempt to make a dent in your reputation. Distinguishing between constructive criticism and unjust negativity is crucial.

Examples of Constructive vs. Unjust or Biased Negative Reviews

To better illustrate the difference between constructive and unjust negative reviews, here are some examples:

Constructive Review:

"I ordered a product from your website, and it arrived a week later than promised. The delay caused inconvenience as it was intended for a special event. I'd appreciate better communication regarding shipping times."

Unjust or Biased Review:

"Worst company ever! They're always late with deliveries. I wouldn't recommend them to my worst enemy!"

Responding Slightly Differently to Each Type of Review

Once you've determined the nature of the negative review, it's important to respond appropriately:

For constructive reviews:

For Unjust or biased reviews:

The 5-Step Plan for Handling Negative Reviews

At this point, it's crystal clear that public relations can either elevate or shatter your business prospects. So, it's imperative to get it right! Managing negative reviews requires a strategic approach that goes beyond simply reacting to a review posted online.

To help you handle negative reviews effectively and turn them into opportunities for growth, we present a practical 5-step plan, which you can find below.

1. Monitor and Gather Data

Most companies search for automated tools that can help them sweep the online space for any feedback that can be used to improve their services.

If you're looking for an easy-to-use solution to track customer satisfaction and gather reviews, most social media can do that from their respective “business dashboards”. For more in-depth results and analysis, EasyHosting can help with the "Reviews Promoter" service, which is part of our Reputation Management suite.

This tool will allow you to monitor the satisfaction of your customers, gather additional feedback from them, and establish an online collection of reviews that you can showcase to potential new customers who visit your online store.

But Reviews Promoter doesn’t stop there.

It also provides invaluable insights about your competitors by monitoring what customers say about them. By gaining a well-rounded understanding of your industry, you can enhance your marketing efforts and gain an advantage in any situation.

Customer satisfaction tracking and engagement

The first step in handling negative reviews is actively monitoring the online reputation of your business. With "Reviews Promoter," you can track customer feedback and identify areas that need improvement.

Regularly check for new reviews on popular review sites and social media and create, schedule, and monitor social media posts for multiple social accounts.

Review gathering

Encourage your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews using "Reviews Promoter." Automated email or SMS campaigns can prompt them to share their experiences, helping balance out the negative feedback even before it gets out.

2. Analyze and Sort Reviews by Type

Once you've gathered feedback, the next step is to analyze and classify the reviews. Read each review carefully to understand the specific issues mentioned. Look for actionable insights that can help you improve your business operations or customer service.

Lastly, sort the reviews by constructive or unjust criticism, as we mentioned earlier, and try to understand whether or not you’re dealing with a genuinely unsatisfied customer.

3. Respond Professionally

Your responses to negative reviews are crucial in shaping public perception and customer sentiment. It's important to take your time when responding to customers and avoid saying anything harsh or unjust you might regret later on.

Once you've damaged a customer's satisfaction, it can be much harder to repair than you might anticipate. So, a good plan is to respond to negative reviews professionally - and here are a few tips for doing so:

  • Acknowledgement: Start by acknowledging the customer's feedback and feelings. Express empathy and understanding in your response.
  • Apologize: If the review is justified, apologize for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction experienced by the customer.
  • Offer solutions: Provide solutions or steps to address the issue. Be clear about how you plan to make amends or prevent similar issues in the future.
  • Emphasize value: Reassure the customer that their feedback is highly valuable to you and that you are committed to improving their experience.

Let's look at examples of responses for both constructive and unjust reviews:

Constructive review response example:

"Thank you for sharing your feedback. We apologize for the shipping delay and inconvenience caused. We are actively working to improve our shipping processes to ensure timely deliveries. Your insights are invaluable in helping us enhance our service."

Unjust review response example:

"We're sorry to hear about your experience. We take all feedback seriously and will deeply look into the matter. If you have further details to share, please reach out to us privately so that we can address your concerns more effectively."

4. Start Implementing Changes

It’s important to take note of negative reviews as they can provide valuable insights for improvement and progress. Here's how to make the most of them:

5. Monitor Competitors

Most reviews are public, and this means there’s a great opportunity for you to check out what your competitors are doing in that same space. Let’s see three excellent tips on how to monitor your competition effectively.

By following this 5-step plan, you have all the means to handle negative reviews, turn challenges into opportunities, and ultimately enhance your online reputation and customer satisfaction.


Your business can be significantly impacted by customer reviews, making it essential to manage negative reviews effectively.

This blog has provided valuable information on the strategic importance of this process and offered a good insight into what services such as Reviews Promoter can do to help gain an advantage promptly.

It's vital to understand that managing negative reviews is not just about controlling the damage but also improving and evolving your business. To achieve this, the "Reviews Promoter" service is a valuable resource.

By following the advice outlined in this blog and utilizing the insights offered by "Reviews Promoter," you can take active steps to shape your online reputation and secure the future of your business.