Service Recovery

How to Successfully Respond to Negative Reviews

Although positive reviews feel great, negative reviews matter just as much and how you react to them could make or break your public reputation. In this post we highlight how to effectively respond to negative reviews.

The Akira Team
2 min November 13, 2023

In today's digital age, reviews and feedback are an essential part of any business. They help businesses improve, connect better with their customers, and ultimately, take steps towards success. Although positive reviews feel great, negative reviews matter just as much and how you react to them could make or break your public reputation. Below, we highlight how to effectively respond to negative reviews.

  • Understand, Then Act. Before responding to a negative review, thoroughly understand the customer's issue. This might involve internal investigation or acknowledging an unpleasant experience they had with your business. Understanding the issue at hand will allow you to effectively communicate with the customer and assures them that their complaints are being taken into account.
  • Respond Quickly, But Thoughtfully. Quick responses show that you are eager to solve your customers' problems, but don't let speed compromise your thoughtfulness. The quality of your response matters just as much, if not more, than the speed at which you provide it. Therefore, always balance the urge to respond quickly with the need to provide thoughtful, well-written responses.
  • Employ Empathy. When dealing with negative reviews, empathy goes a long way. Ensure to acknowledge their complaints, express understanding and apologize if need be. This not only shows potential customers that you care about their experiences but also directly improves customer relationships.
  • Offer a Solution. After empathizing with their issue, always propose a solution or extend an offer to reconcile the issue. This could be replacing a product, offering a refund, or pledging to work on improving their concerns. Offering a resolution shows that you are actively doing something to rectify the problems they faced, this can easily turn a negative experience into a positive one.
  • Be Professional. Remember to keep your responses professional. Avoid being defensive, confrontational or dismissing the client's concerns. Learning from negative feedback is valuable for business growth.
  • Request an Update. Once you have resolved their issue, politely request them to consider updating their review. This can indicate to future customers that your business is committed to resolving issues and ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Learn and Improve. Finally, you should always use negative reviews as a learning experience. Assess these reviews regularly and use them as guides to improve your product or service.

Examples for responding to negative reviews

Example 1: Product-related issue

"I ordered your product but it didn't arrive on time as promised."

Response - "Dear Customer, we're sorry to hear about your experience. We strive to deliver our products on time and we apologize for any inconvenience this delay has caused. We are looking into what happened with your order immediately. In the meantime, please reach out to us at [email service] or [contact number] so we can assist further. Your satisfaction is our utmost priority."

Example 2: Poor service

"Terrible service! I was ignored by the staff for 15 minutes and my order came out wrong."

Response - "Dear Customer, we sincerely apologize for the service you received. There's no excuse for what happened, and we understand your disappointment. We are addressing this with our staff members and will be retraining to ensure better service in the future. If you're willing to give us another try, please contact us at [email service] so we can make amends. We truly value your feedback."

Example 3: A negative experience

"The quality of the food was subpar compared to my previous visits."

Response - "Dear Customer, thank you for reaching out and sharing your feedback. We are normally known for our exceptional food quality, and we regret that we missed the mark here. Please accept our sincerest apologies for your experience. Your feedback is taken very seriously and helps us to improve. If you’d like to discuss this further, please contact us at [email service]. We would love to have the opportunity to make it right."


Remember, the most effective responses to negative reviews are timely, empathetic, offer a resolution, and maintain professionalism. Happy responding!