5 Steps for Handling Negative Online Reviews

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Most businesses are afraid of negative reviews, but they don’t realize that negative reviews can be easy to handle and can actually have a positive effect on their business.

A recent research by Harvard Business School revealed that the majority of consumers trust a brand more when they see a healthy mix of positive and negative online reviews. Therefore, if the reviews are entirely positive, most consumers think they are fake. In addition to increasing consumers’ trust in your business, negative reviews give them a real picture of what your products are like.

To begin with, bad reviews don’t mean your brand is not good enough. A lot of business owners deal with bad reviews at some point. Most of the time, negative reviews are a result of mismatched expectations or communication gaps. Therefore, if you happen to get a bad review, it doesn’t mean your products or services are bad. In fact, when a business decides to publicly display negative reviews, it proves it has nothing to hide. Displaying negative reviews also shows that though some customers weren’t very happy with your products or services, the majority of customers loved your products.

Here are five steps for dealing with negative online reviews:

1. Don’t panic: You need to understand that negative feedback is not that bad, and it can actually help your business. It’s important to stay calm and try to see things from the consumer’s perspective.

2. Publish bad reviews: You must never remove or delete online negative reviews. It’s acceptable to have a few unhappy customers, and posting their negative feedback shows you have nothing to hide. It will actually make your customers trust you more.

3. Respond publicly: Responding publicly will show that you empathize with the unhappy customer and that you are trying to resolve the issue. Customers will notice how quickly and efficiently you react to problems, and they will remember your action and reaction.

4. Learn from negative feedback: Negative reviews will always tell you some important facts about your products and services. You’ll be able to stop negative reviews by addressing those issues.

5. Follow up: Following up after the incident will ensure your customer is happy with the resolution of the issue. Your customer will appreciate your commitment and will remember the good things about your brand instead of the bad ones.

So, you don’t have to be afraid of negative reviews. Instead, you should focus on handling them in the right way. The best strategy to combat negative reviews is to attract more positive reviews.

According to studies, nearly 86 percent of reviews are four or five stars and, therefore, you need to focus on gathering more reviews. This is because the majority of them will be positive reviews anyway. Here are a few things you can do to attract more reviews:

1. Make the review process mobile-friendly: A popular review site recently collected over 16 million reviews, and the majority of them were written on mobile devices. This means, in order to collect more reviews, you must make it easy for your customers to write and submit reviews from their mobile devices.

2. Offer incentives: Your customers are actually doing you a favor by writing a review for your brand. Therefore, it makes sense to repay them. You may see an increase in the volume of reviews once you start offering incentives for writing them.

3. Ask for reviews: To ensure you’re getting a lot of reviews, you’ll need to consistently ask for reviews of your premium products. It is easier to ask for them when a customer buys multiple products in one single order.


Reputation is crucial, and negative reviews could affect your reputation. The most effective way to manage negative reviews is to hire reputation management consultants. An online reputation management company will monitor your online presence while implementing strategies to help you look your best. A professional reputation management company can improve your brand image by handling negative reviews.

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