Lesson 4: How to respond to positive and negative online reviews


Jul 2, 2021 11:17:45 PM

There’s an old proverb that says, “You have to take the good with the bad.” This is true in all aspects of life - including business. It’s also true for your online reviews. You have to take the good reviews with the bad reviews and respond to both. The question is, how do you respond in a way that will boost your business? We’re sharing everything you need to know below.

The Importance of Responding to All of Your Online Reviews

Whether the reviews are good or bad, it’s important to respond to what your customers are saying because it lets them know you care. When trying to establish a positive reputation online, it’s critical that you show rather than tell people that you want to serve your customers so they have the best experience possible with your company. A business that doesn’t manage their reviews and regularly respond to them is making it clear they’re more interested in making money than engaging with their community.

Not only is it important to monitor reviews for an honest exchange of feedback, but it’s also a fabulous way to show the public where you’re making improvements in your business. For example, suppose a negative review comes through that long shipping times leave your customers unhappy. This is the perfect opportunity to look into your shipping process and see if you can remove bottlenecks. Then, when you decrease the amount of time it takes to deliver goods, you can respond to the review with the latest update thanking the customer for giving you the feedback that prompted the inquiry.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

There is a right way and a wrong way for how to respond to reviews that are less than glamorous. While it’s true some reviewers are just mean and inappropriate with their comments, it’s never a good idea to blame them, shame them, or treat them badly online. Sure, you can let them know they’re mistaken when you have facts to back it up, but publicly blasting them will only look bad on you. And, we’ve seen plenty of examples like this.

There’s a better way, and it’s to come at the reviews from a place of optimistic curiosity. Most people aren’t looking to pick a fight or try and get something for free. What they want is to be heard, and responding correctly to bad reviews lets them know you’re listening.

Here are a few examples of the right way to respond:

Customer was unhappy with how the receptionist treated them

Thank you so much for bringing your customer service experience to our attention. Our top priority is to treat our customers with care and respect, and we are investigating this matter further.

If you investigate further and find that the customer was right, you can even come back with another follow up letting them know that training has been implemented to remind employees how to care for their customers.

Customer was upset that they were charged for delivery when they should not have been

We apologise for the inconvenience, and have refunded the delivery charge to the credit card you made your purchase with. We’ve also fixed the glitch in our system that resulted in this erroneous charge. We invite you to private message us at customerservice@mycompany.com for a 20% off coupon for your next order.

If you are using Hellopeter there is no need to send a separate email, as you can private message someone directly in our software. This also makes it easier for the company to track as the person who responds to reviews is not always the same person responding to emails.

Customer never received their delivery

Thank you for reaching out. I apologise for the delay. Please would you respond with your order number, and I’ll investigate what went wrong.

Once again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Please submit a request to support@mycompany.com, and we’ll investigate what went wrong.

Same as the example above, if you are using Hellopeter there is no need to jump into your email, as you can private message someone directly in our software. This also makes it easier for the company to track as the person who responds to reviews is not always the same person responding to emails.

After investigating, if you find the customer was right, you can overnight their order to them, and follow up with an apology letting them know you’ve sent the order along with a special gift to make up for the inconvenience.

What to Do When The Negative Review is Missing Information

When this happens, you can simply ask the customer for additional details so that you can investigate further. Your response can be as simple as:

Thank you so much for reaching out. Could you please provide us with more information as to what went wrong so that we can correct it?

Or if it’s something related to payment, non-delivery, etc… you could say something to the effect of:

We appreciate you taking the time to leave a review. Can you please tell us what was missing from your order? 


Again, don’t be hostile. Just get more facts so you can handle the situation appropriately.

What to Do When The Negative Review is False/Fake

This happens from time to time unfortunately. One angry customer creates a bunch of fake accounts and leaves false or misleading information simply to wreak havoc. When this happens, Hellopeter can help! Simply reach out to us and report the review. We’ll investigate, and when necessary remove the false/fake reviews from your page.


Note: You can not make changes or delete negative reviews when they are accurate.

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

All reviews are important, but some business owners are confused as to how to respond to good reviews. After all, saying “Thank you for your kind words” can feel repetitive and more like a canned response than a genuine reply. That said, here are a few ways to respond that won’t feel like a robot wrote the message:

We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed your stay with us! We look forward to serving you again in the future.
Thanks for your feedback. If you know anyone else who could benefit from our services, please send them our way.
We’re thrilled to learn your [insert product here] arrived so quickly. We strive to decrease shipping times whenever possible.

You can also offer free gifts, coupons, and referral codes as a means to get happy customers to spread the word about your business. Since they already like you, they’re already that much closer to being your most loyal customer advocates.

Easily Respond to All of Your Reviews

Once you start seeing the power of reviews, it’s fair to say you’ll start wondering how to ask for reviews and how to get more reviews. In fact, you may also be looking for a means of doing it quicker, and more efficiently. Hellopeter can help you with that!

With Hellopeter’s review management dashboard, it’s never been easier to manage your reputation online. With email and SMS notifications, you’ll always know when a new review is live so you can respond in a timely manner. And, by using our Review Collection tools, we’ve made it easy to send messages to your past customers, via email, SMS and WhatsApp, asking them for feedback. 

Learn how Hellopeter can help you leverage online reviews to make more money, and grow your business. Try a Free business account today.



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