Online reviews, like I’ve mentioned before in a few other blogs and social media posts, are the lifeblood of your company’s customer relationships… so what’s the best way to respond to an unhappy customer who leaves a negative review of your business?
Much like with positive reviews, a unique and timely review response shows that you genuinely care about customer feedback, and you’re responsive when it comes to solving issues.
A lot of people struggle with replying to their negative reviews. It’s frustrating to get less-than-perfect feedback when you feel like you’ve poured a lot of time and effort into what you do, and more often than not, our first reaction is to take it personally.
So, before responding, take some time to cool down and put yourself in that disgruntled customer’s shoes — and remember that it’s important to make them feel heard and respected.
And, just like with positive reviews, your response as the business is vitally important to how your brand is perceived.
(You also want to show search engines that you’re consistently active in order to achieve higher search rankings, which is another, equally good reason to respond to negative feedback.)
Lucky for you, I’ve put together this list of 25 different responses you can use when you’re not quite sure how to respond to an upset customer.
Simply copy and paste these responses (and update any customer names or info) for your positive reviews:
1. Apologize & Offer Amends
Dear (insert customer name), I’m so sorry, and we sincerely apologize for (review detail). Please reach out to us at (contact information) so we can make it right.
2. I’m Listening
Dear (insert customer name), we’d like to learn more about what happened. Please contact our (staff title, staff name), at (contact info) so we can hear about your experience and take the proper next steps.
3. We Didn’t Meet Your Expectations
Thank you for sharing this honest feedback, (insert customer name). We apologize for not meeting your expectations. Please know that our team is working to prevent (review detail) from happening again.
Dear (insert customer name), thank you for bringing (review detail) to our attention — that is not okay, and we apologize that you had to experience this. Please contact us at (contact info) so we can make it right.
5. Take Responsibility With a Personal Touch
Hi (insert customer name), my name is (name) and I’m (staff title/role). I’m familiar with your situation, and I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. Please know that I’m working to resolve (the issue/review detail). I would appreciate if you could contact me at (contact info) so I can learn more and provide you with any updates.
6. Ease the Tension
Oh no, thanks for bringing this to our attention (insert customer name) — that was way off from our usual service. Give us a second chance to make things right?
(Note: Be careful with this one and only use it for the more light-hearted negative reviews…it won’t work on genuinely, extremely upset customers. Trust us.)
7. You’re Making Us Better
Dear (insert customer name), thank you for taking the time to share your experience. This is not how we aim to run our business. We’re currently making adjustments to make sure (review detail) doesn’t happen again. We appreciate your feedback, as it’s helping us to improve and ensure a better experience for you next time.
8. A Peace Offering
Hi (insert customer name), we’re so sorry for the inconvenience — that usually doesn’t happen. To make amends, here’s a discount on (product/service), on us: (insert link for sales/offers/discounts/etc).
9. Own it
Dear (insert customer name), we messed up. We appreciate your honest feedback about (issue), and we apologize for the way things went. If you’re willing to give us another shot, we’d appreciate the opportunity to give you the (experience/product) you deserve.
10. Grateful For Your Feedback
Dear (insert customer name), thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We wouldn’t be able to improve our service if it weren’t for people like you who provide us with honest feedback like this. Please know that we’ll be looking into it immediately.
11. Thank You For Taking the Time…
Thank you for taking the time to share this experience with us, (insert customer name). Details like these are vitally important to us so we know what we can do to make it better next time. If you have any additional suggestions for how we can improve your experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (contact information).
12. Gentle Redirection & Education
(Note: this is for when a customer posts a negative review due to confusion or misunderstanding. The goal here is to alleviate frustration by clearing up any confusion.)
Hi (insert customer name), we apologize for the confusion; we could have communicated (review detail) more effectively. We’d love to be able to fulfill (customer’s request/suggestion), but the reason we don’t is because (insert additional details). We appreciate your understanding, and we hope to serve you again.
13. Admit When You Don’t Measure Up
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, (insert customer name). We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest quality standards for our customers but we didn’t measure up. (Insert business reason for what went wrong.) We hope you’ll give us an opportunity to discuss this further with you, and would appreciate if you reached out to us at (contact information).
14. We Want You to Love it Too
Dear (insert customer name), we love what we do, and we want you to love it, too. We want to hear about what went wrong so we can take care of you like we should have. Please reach us at (contact information) so we can make things right.
15. Explain, but Don’t Blame
Hi (insert customer name), (business reasons for what went wrong) led to this failure, and we didn’t deliver. That being said, we take full responsibility for the mix-up and want to make it up to you. Please reach us at (contact information) so we can take care of you the way we should.
16. We’ll Strive to Do Better
Dear (insert customer name), we’re disappointed to hear about your sub-par experience, and we’ll strive to do better. We apologize for the (inconvenience/frustration), and would appreciate another chance to earn your business.
17. We Couldn’t Improve Without You
We would not be able to grow and develop without feedback like yours, (insert customer name). Although we’re disheartened by your experience, we’re grateful for your feedback so we can work to prevent (review detail) from happening again.
18. Anything Else You Need, Let Us Know
Dear (insert customer name), thank you for sharing your experience with us here at (insert company name). We’re working to resolve (issue/review detail) right away. If there’s anything else we can help you with in the meantime, please contact us here: (contact information)
19. Express Concern
Dear (insert customer name), your review is concerning to us and we need to know more. Please call (phone number) to speak with (name/team) so we can investigate further.
20. Keep Them In the Loop
(Insert customer name), thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have taken the following steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again: (insert what you’ve done so far)
21. On Behalf of the Team…
Dear (insert customer name), thank you for the honest feedback. Allow me to apologize on behalf of the team here at (company name). How can we make it right?
22. How Can We Make it Better?
(Insert customer name), we appreciate you sharing your experience with us and would like to get in touch with you about how we can improve your experience next time. Please get in touch with us here (insert contact us link page).
23. Us Versus the Problem
Hi (customer name), thanks for reaching out about this. We understand how frustrating it can be when (review detail) happens — it causes problems for us on our end, too. We’re currently (insert steps you’re taking) to solve the issue for both parties.
24. Ask for Clarification
Dear (insert customer name), we’re sorry to hear that we didn’t meet your expectations. We’d like to learn more about what issues you’re experiencing so we can resolve them. Please contact us at (contact information) so we can help.
25. Take it Offline
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, (insert customer name). We’re so sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. We are aware of (review detail) and will be reaching out to you personally to get everything taken care of.
And there you have it – 25 solid responses you can use in a pinch for your negative reviews (just make sure to input customer names and info and you’re all set).
Want to take a shot at crafting your own responses, give our Review Response Generator a go to help build answers to negative, neutral, and positive reviews!
(Bookmarking this post probably isn’t a bad idea, either!)