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How To Handle Negative Reviews | Treehouse 51

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How To Handle Negative Reviews


If we lived in a perfect world, this article wouldn’t be here. But no matter what, no matter how awesome your service is — items slip through the cracks. There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “Give twenty people in a room a gold brick and one of them will find something to complain about it.” The reality is negative reviews happen. There is no escaping it. In order for your brand to grow, you’ll need to know how to handle negative reviews.

How To Handle Negative Reviews

Tip #1: Reply To Negative Reviews With Questions

A lot of running a business has to do with customer service. For some, this is an easy skill to have. Others it’s an acquired taste. So always remember to ask what happened when you get that dreaded review. Try to figure out and more importantly understand what caused this client to leave such harsh words. Think of this as the discovery mode. You want to learn everything you can about what they went through.

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Once you have that information you can leverage it and try to offer a solution. The very least you will be able to connect with your customer who will see that you went out of your way to understand their frustration.

Tip #2: Always Reply To Negative Reviews

There are always two sides to every story. Always. And what is great for me, may be terrible for you. That’s fine. That’s life. Make sure when you get a negative review to reply. Here’s why — that review odds are will be there forever. Meaning, every possible lead your brand can capture will be seeing this. Do you want that business just to see one side of the story that doesn’t paint you in the best of light? I don’t think so.

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Remember when replying to negative reviews to keep it professional. You’re not in a pissing match. You’re simply playing customer service, trying to understand the issue and offer a solution (if possible.)

Tip #3: Don’t Let Negative Reviews Lower Your Customer Retention

Just because a customer has left you a negative review doesn’t mean they’re not a customer anymore. In fact, if you play your cards right not only can you have them update their review but also continue to be a customer. That should be your goal. What steps are you going to take to help this customer see the light?

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Recommendations here are to offer a freebie, discount, apology, even go as far as a one on one call. Picture that, how many times have you had a one on one call with a business owner? It’s rare. Imagine how a customer would feel if you were to go out of your way to schedule said call — they’d appreciate it.


Customers aren’t just blank numbers to fill invoices — they’re people. Emotional people. Just like you and me. When you get your next negative review (and you will) remember that. Remember this customer is feeling something negative and now it’s your job to turn that negative into an actionable, positive situation.

-Treehouse 51

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