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How to respond to a negative Google review

If the complainant is known to you (i.e. is on your database) then consider reaching out to them. See if their issue with the business can be resolved.

If this is the case, and they are satisfied by your response, and proposed actions, then see whether they might now be prepared to remove/delete the review.

If the complainant is not known to the business, then:

  1. Respond as soon as possible once the negative review is spotted.

    An immediate response looks professional to both the complainant and to any other potential prospect or existing client who might read it.

  2. Stay professional and courteous.

    Never lash out, and avoid taking the review personally.

  3. Understand the problem

    Investigate to see what may have gone wrong. Be honest about any mistakes made and include the steps that you’ve taken (or will take) to remedy the situation.

  4. Apologize when appropriate

    Show compassion and empathy for the prospective customer/client.

  5. Offer to talk it over.

    If this is the first you’re hearing of the complaint, invite the complainant to email or call so that you can try to sort out the matter with them (and then, if appropriate, encourage them to remove/delete their review).

  6. Show that you’re authentic and genuine.

    Sign off your response with your name and title to show that a real person is listening, and that you’re taking the matter seriously.

  7. At the same time as you are doing this, try to work out if the review is genuine or not

    This guidance should help you here.