How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Public Websites

A well-written response to a negative review helps to strengthen social proof and attract new clients.
In this article, you’ll learn how to properly respond to customer dissatisfaction and even become a winner in such situations.


How to Deal with Bad Responses on a Website

It is important to understand that by answering a certain user, we not only solve his problem, but also indirectly answer the rest of the website visitors.

Don’t think about negative reviews as something that’s destroying your business. Instead, you should suppose such feedback to be a starting point for your further development. Point out your weaknesses and work on them! It will bring you to the next level and attract new customers.

Here’s an algorithm of how to respond to negative feedback:

  • First of all, find time to return to the negative review with feedback, your client should not wait long.
  • Hold back emotions when responding to negativity.
  • Create scripts for prompt responses. Nevertheless, always add something from yourself: the guest wants to see and feel his uniqueness, so address him by name, quote his message, or add personalization.
  • Sign up. People should know that the real person is answering to them, he understands the situation and is really sorry.

The answer must be coherent and at the same time concise. The best response consists of seven parts. Such a structure wouldn’t generate more negativity and would make the furious user calmly read it.

How to work with negative feedback online

Address customer by name

A personal appeal immediately makes it clear that they are not communicating with the guest according to the template. If you have several negative reviews on one page, then you should alternate between the appeals. Any other way people will suppose your comments to be robot responses.

Here are a few good examples for you:

  1. Good afternoon Jane!
  2. Hello Helga!
  3. Good afternoon Anna.

Thank you for reaching out!

Address customer by name - reply negative comments

Say thank you for the feedback

The word “thank you” becomes even better when you use it in response to negativity. Thus, you take the side of the customer and accept his or her opinion.

For instance, you can say thank you for feedback or courage. Also, you can start with gratitude for purchasing a product or receiving the service from you. Don’t forget that other users will also read your answer on an online platform. Website visitors will suppose this ‘thank you’ to be a sign of transparency and calmness.


Here are the best examples of negative review replies:


  1. Thank you for writing to us.
  2. Thanks for the feedback.
  3. Thank you for sharing your emotions.
  4. Thank you for choosing us (our services, our product).
  5. Thank you for such detailed feedback.
  6. Thank you for sharing what happened despite the negative emotions.
Respond to negative reviews - say thank you for the feedback


Now it’s time for you to start saying sorry. If the customer expresses negativity, he wants to hear an apology. It is important to be able to admit mistakes, even if they were completely miserable in your opinion.

  1. On behalf of the entire team, we apologize for the situation.
  2. We are really sorry that your visit did not meet expectations.
  3. We apologize that we were unable to maintain the service at the proper level.
  4. Please accept my sincere apologies for the situation.
  5. We share the view that such service is unacceptable!

Admit a mistake

The situation which caused negativity doesn’t reveal your service or people to be bad. Accept the fact that it has already happened and let the client know that you understand him.

A customer reported an issue, that’s a fact. Now you can work on fixing things instead of waiting for 10 more dissatisfied visitors.

Here’s what you can say in this situation:

  1. The situation you are in is unacceptable!
  2. We have already begun to understand the situation with the staff.
  3. We are very sorry that the incompetent work of the [staff member] ruined your experience.
  4. We have already had a conversation with the [staff member] and found out that this situation is connected with the [absence of something]. However, this does not justify the actions of the team.
  5. We really tried to answer a large flow of applications on a holiday but made mistakes in service.
  6. Our team analyzed the current situation and understood their weaknesses.

Offer steps to solve the problem

After you’ve learned about the issue, you need to let the customer know that you are working on solving it. Note that you shouldn’t give naked promises – you own business, and it is in your best interest to improve it.
  1. We have transferred your claim to the manager, he will sort it out at the general planning meeting.
  2. We have already started looking for a new supplier.
  3. We have notified the manager about the situation, this situation will be additionally discussed during the next briefing.
  4. The support manager is already aware of the situation, so the issue will be resolved soon.
  5. Our manager quickly figured out the situation and found weak points in the service. They’ll sort things out and will improve the service thanks to your review.

Offer to communicate in person

Arguing with clients is always dangerous. Besides, it doesn’t make sense. Ask the reviewer for a phone number or just invite him to continue the conversation in private messages: there, you’ll feel calmer and less fidgeting.

  1. We additionally addressed you in private messages to continue the dialogue and find out all the details.
  2. Please leave your phone number (or email) so that our manager could contact you and offer service|product as compensation.


And the last element of our apology is the conclusion. Here it is important to give it some positive spin and make it clear that you are on the side of the customer.


  1. I hope that the work we have done will convince you that this situation is only a sicase. We will be very glad to see you again!
  2. We believe that this case will not spoil the overall impression of our company and we are waiting for you to turn back to us!
  3. We want to once again express our gratitude for your courage and honesty and convey gratitude from the management.
  4. Please always be open with your comments and suggestions – it really helps us to become better.

That’s it! Never hesitate to receive and reply to negative reviews, they make you quickly improve your weaknesses.

Negative customer feedback examples

No one disputes that negative feedback, posts and comments damage the reputation. However, reputation management is an important and controlled process that will allow you to hold afloat. 

You should pursue different strategies in various examples of bad customer reviews. For instance, you can be genuine, candid, sound more professional or subtle. Below, you’ll find examples of great replies to enraged customers.

An example of answer to a negative review lacking details

Good afternoon!

On behalf of the entire company, we apologize for the inconvenience caused. So, of course, it shouldn’t be. I would like to understand this situation, solve and exclude its further repetition. Specify the order number to contact you. 

Best regards,

[Name or position]

Response example to a more specific negative review

Good afternoon!

Thanks for the feedback. It is very important for us to understand what happened, but according to the situation described, we could not identify your order in our system. Specify the order number and contact information to contact you. We will definitely deal with this issue. On behalf of the entire company, we apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Best regards,

[Name or position]

Reply to a negative review with steps that have already been taken

Hello Dear Customer, 

We sincerely apologize for this terrible mistake. The employee was subject to disciplinary action. Such an incident will not happen again. Every day we try to be only better for the buyer, and therefore we thank you for your comments and observation. We hope that we will win your trust again, and therefore we are waiting for you to shop in our online store.

Best regards,

[Name or position]

Reply to a negative review on work of hospital staff

Good afternoon Jessica. 

Thanks for the feedback. We are sincerely upset and surprised that this situation took place. Dr. William K. is a high-level professional and individually approaches the problem of each patient. Additional studies may be required to make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan. Please specify the date of your visit to the medical center so that we can check all the information, evaluate the actions of a specialist and take appropriate measures. We apologize for the inconvenience!

Best regards, 

[Medical Center]

How to Respond to Negative Reviews - Examples for All Platforms

Some people think that it’s better to buy positive reviews on the Internet instead of working with negative ones. If there are more positive reviews, it will benefit the business.

In reality, if there’s a lot of negativity, it’s a signal for you to start improving processes in your business. Anyway, people will look for negative reviews intentionally, and they’ll understand if negative comments are true, and positive ones are bought or written by robots.

Amazon Negative Reviews

In September 2020, Amazon removed 20,000 reviews from its site after a Financial Times investigation. It was revealed that British manufacturers and shops paid reviewers to comment. However, Amazon is currently unable to fully address the issue due to the sheer volume of fake reviews. 

Negative feedback removal

97% of Amazon visitors look at reviews first before buying a product, so a large number of false reviews can mislead them and cause a surge in demand for a product.

This is how it worked:

People bought a product on Amazon. It came in a box with a card which said: “Here’s a QR code for you. Scan it and get a present.” Then people were redirected to a web page where they saw an offer to write a five-star review and get their money back. They could also get a half-price gift card for giving a product great rating. Such behavior of real buyers seemed legitimate, and the same reviewers sometimes left some fake testimonials and several true. That’s why it’s nearly impossible for Amazon to spot falsified reviews and delete them.

How to respond to negative Amazon reviews

Bad customer reviews examples

Here are the best and most hilarious Amazon reviews. How do you think it’s better to answer them? “Can I say anything new about the Banana Slicer that hasn’t been stated before about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone?” Mrs […] “The days of chewing off banana slice-sized bits and spitting them onto a serving platter are long gone…. A kitchen gadget for splitting frozen water into cube-sized portions is next on my wish list.” Mrs […] “The slices are bent from left to right, as illustrated in the image. My bananas are all twisted the wrong way.” Mr […]

How to respond to bad reviews on Amazon

There are several general rules that you should follow when answering bad reviews on any platform. Amazon is no exception. Here are six principles, follow them and your business will be ok.

1. You must be swift.
In order to effectively respond to unfavorable evaluations, you must move promptly. You don’t want to wait a week or two, or even a few days, to reply to a poor review. You should react the same day, if possible; the sooner, the better.

Amazon customers will anticipate your reactions to unfavorable reviews. Otherwise, it may appear that you don’t care about customer service quality.

Some consumers will read through the unfavorable reviews first, so be sure you get your message over. Ideally, you’ll be able to remedy the problem before the consumer asks for a refund.

You must keep a watch on your reviews to see when they appear in order to answer swiftly.

2. Make your answer personal.

When replying to negative reviews, one thing you wouldn’t want to do is answer in a formulaic manner. Don’t copy and paste generic comments to reviews. It’s most likely the worst thing you can do, and it won’t help you. Always react to each review individually and answer each customer’s unique problems. This not only improves the consumer experience while submitting a review, but it also makes your answer seem better when other potential customers read it. Here are some excellent recommendations on what to include in your Amazon emails.

3. Provide customers with the options.

When responding to bad reviews, the most crucial guideline is to propose remedies to the issues raised. People will frequently complain about an issue and expect you to solve it. You can provide suggestions if they do anything incorrectly, or you can try to assist them in resolving the issue. Alternatively, inform them that they may always return it. You can even request that they contact you personally. All of this demonstrates that you care, and it’s wonderful for potential consumers since it demonstrates that your customer service is excellent. This is one approach to distinguish your items from the competitors. 

4. Maintain a professional and truthful demeanor. 

When replying to negative evaluations, maintain a professional and courteous demeanor. Wait until you’re calm before responding to the review. Rudeness or violence will only harm you, and this will result in major negative effects. Always keep in mind that the consumer is always right. Don’t forget that other purchasers may frequently detect whether a buyer is being unfair by reading a review. So, even if you didn’t do anything wrong, apologize and be kind, regardless of what the buyer thinks. 

5. Don’t be afraid of bad feedback. 

Following the methods outlined above will assist you in leaving excellent evaluations on review sites. However, keep in mind that unfavorable ratings aren’t the end of the world. Every Amazon merchant receives negative feedback from time to time. It makes no difference as long as they are in the minority. People are concerned about fake reviews and will always understand that they see this kind of feedback, so, pass this method up right along.

eBay Negative Feedback

As a user, you can delete bad reviews only if the seller didn’t ask you to. eBay policy prohibits this kind of solicitation and manipulation. You can only change the review in a more critical direction – from positive and neutral to negative.

Here’s how a purchaser can change review on eBay: 

  1. Write a letter to the seller asking permission to change your review. He/she will agree if you want to make it more positive. You will have 10 days to edit or remove your eBay review before the request expires. 
  2. You will then receive an email asking you to edit your review. Click “Accept Request”. 
  3. Then find the new rating option, enter an updated comment, and select a new seller rating.

But there’s a difficulty in changing or deleting a negative review if you are an eBay business owner.

Can I delete or edit eBay reviews?

You can ask the customer to change the review, or ask support to disable the post. To implement eBay feedback removal you can switch all your reviews to private mode. That means all comments to your account will be visible only to you. Before deciding on this, you’d better weigh everything thoroughly: after this action, eBay will not allow you to publish new products.

Also remember that new reviews will rise upon old comments, and soon the old comments will disappear from the new visitors’ sight. Thus, old comments will not be removed, but will be less taken into account by potential customers. So, the percentage of reviews will change and will be more profitable for you.

Can I delete or edit eBay reviews?

You can ask the customer to change the review, or ask support to disable the post. To implement eBay feedback removal you can switch all your reviews to private mode. That means all comments to your account will be visible only to you. Before deciding on this, you’d better weigh everything thoroughly: after this action, eBay will not allow you to publish new products.

Also remember that new reviews will rise upon old comments, and soon the old comments will disappear from the new visitors’ sight. Thus, old comments will not be removed, but will be less taken into account by potential customers. So, the percentage of reviews will change and will be more profitable for you.

How to respond to negative reviews

eBay is just another platform where you should follow general rules of dealing with negativity. 

  1. The first step to solving a problem is answering criticism. Respond to reviews promptly. 
  2. Be constructive and emotionless. It will protect your reputation the best way. 
  3. Find a mutually beneficial solution. Be sure to inform your clients about it. Your target audience on a popular platform must be sure that you will approach the elimination of problems with full responsibility.
  4. If a review is unlawful, you can report it or dispute it. You can delete the review if it is unsubstantiated, eBay did not process the order correctly, or the item was delayed by the post office. If the customer has not yet paid for the item, you can also erase the review. To request a review, go to My eBay’s Review page. Describe the problem and wait for eBay to look into it.
  5. Simply describe the issue. “Customer claims he never received the order, but I have verification from the postal service,” or “Client claims I cheated him, but I didn’t,” are examples of what you might write.
  6. You may also inform a buyer if you have any questions.

Bad review on Airbnb

Airbnb states that they eagerly protect hosts from single bad reviews.

Feedback is very important, especially for this platform. Reviews affect the success of a business and can be very personal. Airbnb claims that they know how much effort it takes to receive guests and review with an unexpectedly low rating is frustrating. Especially if it was caused by a mistake, a misunderstanding, or an unfair rating.

Negative reviews removal from Airbnb

A single review with a low rating raises questions if the host has an excellent rating and only one guest was dissatisfied. New algorithms automatically identify inappropriate reviews and fix them. For example, a guest gives a five star-review for specific categories: cleanliness, accuracy, arrival, and so on, and rates the place with only two stars. The tool marks such a review and prompts the guest to adjust the overall rating.

How to answer bad feedback about your place

First of all, remember that any: either bad or good feedback can improve your hosting experience. Here are some benefits from reading negative reviews on Airbnb.

  • The best hosts look for benefits in the comments to improve professionally and improve their house.
  • You can learn something important from guests.

The problem on Airbnb is that both guests and owners can leave feedback to each other. Guests do not hurry in writing bad comments because owners can do the same, and the overall rating of both sides will be ruined. The best examples of bad review answers stick to the following rules:

  • Stay in touch with visitors at all times (for example, during booking, arrival, and departure).
  • Your reaction to the comments helps users to make a booking decision.
  • The first step is to thank the guest for the feedback.
  • You can add facts, express your point of view, or tell what has already been done to solve the problem.
  • If possible, let everyone know how you’ve fixed or improved the property so other guests don’t worry.
  • Don’t defend or raise the tone of communication.

That’s it. Your answer will be perfect and other guests will understand you’re a responsible and friendly owner.

Negative Google Reviews

Some people suppose bad feedback on Google can ruin their small business reputation, which is not true. We have described the main rules of working with such testimonials in public, so other users never hesitate to visit your place and order your services.

Removing negative Google Reviews

Google claims they delete all suspicious reviews from your profile automatically. However, you can report fake or malicious reviews by manually red flagging them. Such reviews should violate Google policies, shouldn’t be personal, and shouldn’t be someone else’s. Here’s the list of inappropriate content:

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous and derogatory content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of interest

You can request Google to have such comments removed from Maps, Reviews and Photos. Here are several ways of editing or deleting negative reviews:

  1. Ask the customer him-/herself.
  2. Red flag it through the admin panel if it violates Google Policies.
  3. Tweet to Google Small Business (why not?)
  4. Submit a formal legal request for Google.

How to answer negative Google reviews?

There are not many cases where you can legally delete negative reviews on Google. However, you can always publicly answer them, so to turn bad feedback into a great marketing strategy.

  1. Keep your message short and concise.
  2. Respond timely, don’t wait until the review is no more relevant.
  3. Tell Google users that you’ve taken steps to improve the situation.
  4. Apologize, but don’t hassle. If the accident appeared through no fault of yours, tell your customers about it.
  5. Offer the disappointed person to move from public Google communication to personal messaging and discuss things over more properly.


Negative feedback on popular platforms may seem to be a destruction for the whole business. However, one should perceive it as a point of growth. You can listen to your users who wish you well and improve situation, tell the audience about it and make everyone sure you never get stuck because of problems. Also, answering politely and quickly will show that you really care about the quality of your services. 

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