Got a bad review on your business? Here is how to defend your company online


Getting reviews is a numbers game. People prefer to buy from a business with more reviews, than ones with less.
As you get more reviews, though, the possibility of having a few bad reviews becomes less remote.

But this good. A combination of positive and negative reviews helps improve consumer’s trust in the reviews on your business. People are suspicious when your business has only good reviews.

But having an unflattering comment such as; “The worst restaurant I have ever visited” on your review page is worrying still. It’s certainly nothing to leave on your review page unattended.

You’ve got to do something about it. The question is: what? In this post, we’ll go over what you should do,

1. Don’t defend yourself

Negative reviews can leave you frustrated and angered. It’s especially worse when you are sure you are rendering a top class service. So your knee-jerk reaction might be to fire back a response defending your service or your staff. Or both. This is an approach that almost always escalates the situation.

Understand that the reviewer had a bad experience. Even if they haven’t, and they are only a grumpy brand hater, assume they’ve had a bad experience and reply to them with that at the back of your mind.

2. Thank them

There is nothing fun about thanking someone that has just called your baby “ugly,” but you have to.

Understand that you are not merely replying the reviewer, but the mass of people who will read your response in the future. This is an opportunity to show them the kind of business you are.

A sample message is: “Thank you for taking the time to write a few words about us. We value your thoughts and apologise that we fell short of your expectations. How can we make it up to you?”

3. Attend to the specific complaint

It’s not enough to simply say “we apologise.” You need to focus on the specific concerns of the reviewer. If their concern was that your staffers were rude on the day they visited, you need to find out what happened. Perhaps it was the month the salary came late. Or it was just a busy day that day.

In your response, be specific about what happened. Be honest and communicate to the reviewer that their concern has been addressed.

A sample message is: “There is one thing more important to us than providing great food for our customers, that is making sure our customers get the best hospitality and service. We have addressed the problems with the discourtesy of our staffers and have spoken with the employees on duty that day. We share your passion for good customer service in Nigeria and will do anything to uphold a culture of respectful service.”

4. Close your response with a flourish

You’ve done well so far holding back your defence argument and addressing their specific concerns. Your closing is the opportunity to turn your negative reviewers into brand ambassadors. It’s also a way to let other people who will be reading your response know that you care deeply about your customer experience.

A sample message could be: “If you visit our restaurant again, I’ll like an opportunity to meet you, so please ask for me. You’ll usually find me in [describe your office]. We hope to see you again.”


Bad reviews aren’t all bad. In fact, they provide a good way to know what to improve in your business. So embrace them.

As you improve your business, you’ll see the percentage of good reviews to bad reviews begin to tilt towards good ones.

At the end of the day, the best path to having great reviews is to offer a great product and customer experience.
*We used a restaurant as an example in this piece. This technique to handling bad reviews works for any business.

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