How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

If you’ve ever received a negative review about your business, you know it can be pretty frustrating. You may feel the need to counter the person’s points and defend your business, but this can backfire if you don’t have a plan.

In this article, we’re exploring how to respond to negative reviews so you’re prepared when the inevitable happens.

How To Respond To Negative Reviews Online

As a pool business, you know how important it is that you keep up with your reviews online. Those reviews will help other customers find you, and you’ll be able to bring in even more business. We’ve explored how to ask customers to review your business, so today we’re sharing some follow-up tips you might need if a customer decides to write a negative review. 

Getting a negative review may be frustrating, but there’s a silver lining … an opportunity to demonstrate your customer service. Keep this in mind as you read ahead.

Here’s how to respond to negative reviews online.

Can You Delete Negative Reviews?

The first thing you’ll think of doing is deleting those negative reviews. That’s especially true if you feel the review is uncalled for. However, you’ll soon find most reputable review platforms, such as Google, won’t let you delete these reviews. This is because if you were able to do so, you wouldn’t be presenting a fair and balanced view of yourself to potential customers. 

If you do get a negative review, it’s not the huge problem it feels like. Most customers are going to expect some negative reviews when they check you out. In fact, they’d be more suspicious if there were all positive reviews, as that’s a sign that a business has been buying reviews. Instead, they’ll be looking at how you handle the review itself

Always Answer

Whether a review is positive or negative, you want to respond to customers. There are several reasons for doing this. Firstly, it opens up a conversation between the two of you and makes them think more highly of you. Plus, it will also help your Google rankings if you’re taking the time to interact with your customers. 

You’ll want to check your reviews regularly and see if anyone has left you any comments. Even if the review is glowing, you’ll want to simply thank them for their review. That really helps them think highly of you, and keep them hiring you to handle their pool.

Answer Reviews Quickly

If you get a negative review, you’ll see that it comes in soon after the customer has experienced your service. The experience is fresh in their mind as they’ve left the review, and you want to make it right before they decide to walk away. 

With this in mind, always make sure you respond quickly, to let the customer know you want to put things right. 

Understand The Value Of The Review

When you get a negative review, it’s hard not to take it personally. That’s so true when you’re running a small pool business. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so why are they so negative about you? 

However, take care to understand the value of the review. Every single review you get lets you know how you’re doing as a business. You can use them to understand where you’re excelling, and where you need to improve. After all, no business is perfect, it just isn’t possible. Use the review as an opportunity to improve. 

Be Transparent In Your Answer

When answering a negative review, you want to be as transparent as possible. Think back to your last experience as a customer when you felt a business was shifting the blame away from themselves. It’s irritating, isn’t it? As such, you probably won’t use that company again. 

Keep this in mind when you’re answering. If you as a business are at fault, don’t hesitate to own that. You can then let the customer know you’re looking to make things right with them. If they get a message like this, they’ll be more willing to work with you to find a solution. It’s always the best thing to do to keep a customer. 

Don’t Be Tempted To Take The Gloves Off

Again, it’s hard to stay professional when you see what a customer has written about you. You’ve worked hard as a business, and you don’t like seeing these things. This is all very valid, but remember that you’re still a business. Just because you’re online, you can’t take the gloves off and start getting into it with them. 

Talk to the customer as you would if you were in their home, working on their pool. You wouldn’t stoop to their level if they got nasty. Instead, you would stay professional and look for a way to improve the situation. Remember, other customers can see how you respond too, so you want to make a good impression. 

Give Everyone A Unique Response

As a customer, you want to be heard if things go wrong. It’d be so frustrating if you got a form response back. This would make you feel as though the business doesn’t really care, and that they aren’t paying attention to you.

You don’t want to give this impression, so make sure that you respond to each review individually. This shows that you’re paying attention to them, and you want to take what they’re saying seriously. 

Take Your Conversation Offline

The next step, once you’ve acknowledged the problem, is to take the conversation offline. It’s much easier to talk over the phone or in person, and so it’ll be easier to put things right. The key here is not to leave the customer waiting for you. Ask them when you can get in touch, or come over to put an issue right. If you ask the ball is in their court, and you’re showing you value their time. 

Consider How You’ll Correct The Situation

Now that you’ve opened a conversation with the customer, you’ll need to consider how you’ll put things right. In many cases, it may be as simple as heading to their property to correct the issue with their pool service. In others, you can give credit for a free pool cleaning or similar. 


Now that you know how to respond to negative reviews online, you can create a gameplan for the future. Avoid jumping forward to defend your business right away. No matter how unfair the review seems, it’s your response that future customers will consider when making a decision whether or not to hire your company.

Getting negative reviews is never fun, but you can turn the experience around. Respond and put things right, and you’re going to make an excellent impression on anyone who sees the review. 

Let your response demonstrate that you listen to your customers and are willing to cooperate with them.

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