How To Deal With Negative Reviews Online

You’ve created your site, bought a domain, and chosen a great cheap web host – your inventory is stocked and communications are ready to send. You think everything has gone smoothly… until a bad review finds its way onto your site.

In eCommerce, negative reviews are a harsh reality and, no matter how hard you try, they inevitably happen. Reviews are important to site conversions, with 79% of U.S. customers checking what other people have said before completing a purchase, which means it’s important to know how to deal with them.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to deal with negative reviews online so you can make sure they don’t adversely affect your bottom line.



The first step to overcoming a negative review online is to acknowledge both the comment and the customer. Nothing good comes from burying your head in the sand, as much as it may appeal when faced with public adversity.

Although it can seem tempting to delete the offending comment, it’s not a positive or long-term solution. Deletion may lead to further conflicts and escalate a small problem into something much bigger. Especially if you’re seen to be hiding an issue that needs addressing.

Take ownership of the problem Hold your hands up, and admit ‘We have done something wrong, and we’re going to fix it.’ Your current and future customers will appreciate you for it.


Listen to What’s Been Said

No-one wants bad feedback – you wouldn’t want it from your friends, much less a stranger on the internet. But whatever review has been left, has been left for a reason. Don’t let the chance to fix something that might cause future customers a problem pass you by.

Forbes suggests that you can build trust in your company by keeping to your word and fixing whatever has gone wrong for your customer.

Arguably, bad feedback is more useful than positive. It shows papercuts in your business and what could be done better. You don’t learn by being the best at everything, so take a deep breath and embrace your wounded pride and take steps to fix what your customer has suggested is wrong. It’ll pay dividends in the long-run.


Start Planning

A bad review needs to be shared with the relevant departments within your team – it’s no use having valuable feedback sitting with your eCommerce site manager and going no further. If there was an issue with delivery, you need to involve your logistics team. An issue with payment needs input from your finance team. The website keeps crashing, that’s your tech team, and so on.


Within a reasonable timescale, a strategy for fixing the problem needs to be put in place. Not only will this help future customers from experiencing the same problem, but it’ll also show the affronted customer you’re keen to mop up your earlier mess.

A quick turnaround on resolving the issue is key when it comes to our next point.


Ask for a Follow-up

This step may seem like the last thing you want to do, but by keeping yourself accountable and hitting deadlines for a resolution, you can show that you keep your customers at the heart of everything you do.



Check back in with the person who left a negative review on your site once you’ve solved their issue. It will show you care and you can even ask if, after considering the steps you’ve taken to correct things, they’d consider retracting their negative review.


To Sum Things Up

Bad web reviews aren’t a reason to close down. By offering the right initial reaction and taking steps to create a resolution, you can turn negatives into positives. As Entrepreneur says: “a negative review does not mean the end for your business. Failing to react properly will.”



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