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Negative Review Response Examples: Don't Let Bad Reviews Ruin Your Business

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
95% of unhappy clients share negative experiences online. Mitigate these effects on your online reputation with our practical negative review response examples.
Negative Review Response Examples: Don't Let Bad Reviews Ruin Your Business

Regardless of how fantastic your product is or how impeccable your services are, you'll encounter customers that would be dismayed by your business. Worse, some would even go beyond complaining to you and would post bad reviews on your online review pages. Research suggests that 95% of consumers are ready to "shout from the rooftops" if they ever had a bad experience with a company. In this article, we will discuss some excellent negative review response examples that you can use as a guideline.

This is why business owners need to know how to mitigate the consequences of bad reviews and even use them to their advantage. Luckily, it could be done with a simple, well-written response to a negative online review. 

Why is responding to negative reviews important?

Responding to positive reviews can help business owners build a strong marketing campaign. While this is important, responding to negative customer reviews has more weight, as you'd have to rebuild customer trust that could be damaged by the bad feedback.


Demonstrate dedication to future customers.

Everyone wants to know how their potential concerns and requests would be handled before purchasing from a company. The best way to show your dedication to potential customers is by responding to online reviews. This just shows that you take care of your customers, even after you've rendered the services they paid for.

Rebuild your online reputation.

A single bad review can truly scathe your online reputation–especially if it's left unattended. Potential customers would automatically assume that the bad review is correct, thus, your lack of response.

It's worth noting that even though your company already has a good reputation, your online presence can still make or break your business. According to our recent article about online statistics on reviews, 86% of people would pass off a good deal from a company with numerous negative reviews – that's more than a million dollars lost in revenue.

Prevent losing potential customers.

Aside from this, Replying to negative reviews allows you to differentiate your company from scams, which is especially important for small businesses. In 2022 alone, online users lost more than $568 million due to scams, with online shopping scams being the third highest category of online fraud. Because of this, customers are hyper-aware of online scams and would go the extra mile to confirm the legitimacy of a business before making a purchase, especially if they read a handful of negative feedback.

Responding to negative customer reviews is the best way to prove the legitimacy of your business. It's the best method to clarify customer issues, potentially disprove faulty claims, and, most importantly, regain customer trust.

Reconcile with an unsatisfied customer.

Responding to bad reviews allows you to win back a potentially lost customer. While it's true that most consumers are prone to publicize their bad experiences with a company, they can still be swayed if you show genuine accountability, empathy, and commitment to do better.

Opening an avenue of discussion with your customer allows them to feel validated and even empowered, as it would give them active participation in how they can improve a company.

Learn from the negative feedback.

Remember that responding to bad reviews isn't enough – you should also find ways to validate and amend customer issues. This includes providing nothing but excellent customer service, updating facilities, or rectifying errors in your purchasing process.

This is why it's essential to find an easy and fast way to respond to negative reviews because there are still many more tasks to do to regain customer trust and improve your products or services.

How do you respond to a negative review?

Here are some ways how you can respond to negative reviews. While your responses should vary depending on the customer's concern, using these techniques can help you craft an effective (and affective!) response that can win back a customer and gain new ones.

Remain professional and acknowledge that the customer is upset.

It's essential to exhibit professionalism even if the customer is being unreasonable. This will show readers that you're completely in control of the situation and can rectify any error they have committed.

Aside from this, acknowledge that the customer is upset. Don't try to downplay their frustration regardless of what their concern is. Tell them you understand, and you'll find ways to resolve the problem.

Personalize your replies.

Personalization is a must when it comes to replying to bad feedback. This would assure the customer that they're actually conversing with real people who can provide solutions.

Aside from acknowledging the key points mentioned in the review, mention the reviewer's name, too. These acts, while they may be simple, show commitment to your customers. Adding a personal or brand signature is also a great strategy for personalizing your replies. It boosts your relationship with your customer while creating a brand recall with those reading the reviews.

Don't use templates.

Still, in line with personalization, refrain from using a common template in replying to bad reviews. This would make it seem like you're just using an auto-reply bot. This would add fuel to the fire, making the customers feel like you're invalidating their concerns.

Instead of using a common template, it's best to get an AI review reply assistant that could write personalized replies in line with the content of a review. This would help you attend to the reviews in the best way possible - even with little time available.

To learn more about the importance of personalization in responding to both negative and positive reviews, click here.

Don't take it personally.

It's important to remember that not every customer is going to be happy 100% of the time, so don't take the bad reviews personally. Most business owners might feel the urge to be defensive, but it's best to remain calm and collected.

Instead of matching the negative tone of the customer, it's best to find a way to fashion your response in a positive light.

Show dedication to your brand.

Stating an ideal scenario would give the impression that the bad experience is an isolated case and not the usual setup for your company. This would ensure potential customers that it's less likely to happen to them, too.

Aside from this, instead of being defensive and stating promises that may actually reflect negatively on readers, it's best to state your brand philosophy. It would show your commitment to improving your services for your customers while showing dedication to your company.

To learn more about responding to online reviews in the most optimal way possible, read our complete guide here.

How do you respond to a negative review example?

To help you and your team in crafting the best responses to negative feedback, we've compiled some of the best responses for negative customer reviews per industry and per review platform.

How to respond to negative reviews for hotels

An example of a negative review about billing dispute on Tripadvisor.
Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We appreciate your valuable feedback and are sorry that your experience was not to your satisfaction. We want to ensure that all guests are satisfied with their stay, and we regret if we fell short of that goal in any way during your visit.
A representative will send you a private message on how we could amend your billing concern. Once you've provided all the details necessary, rest assured that our team will immediately work on a resolution.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with us.
Best Regards,
The Fancy Hotel
(written by MARA AI)

This is one of the best ways hotels can respond to negative reviews on Tripadvisor. The detailed response established a positive angle right off the first line, as it showed gratitude and appreciation towards the customer. After this, it proceeded to provide a solution for the concern stated.

Since billing is a sensitive issue, it's worth noting that the response requested that the concern be resolved privately. It didn't publicize any contact details of the company or the customer. Aside from protecting the customer's privacy, it also prevents the company from receiving heaps of billing adjustment requests to their private lines.

Click here to learn more about how you can reply to Tripadvisor reviews.

How to respond to negative reviews for restaurant

An example of a negative review for a pizza restaurant on Google Reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback. We are sorry that your experience with the extra egg on the pizza didn't meet your expectations.
At our restaurant, we take pride in providing fresh ingredients to our customer's requests as we strive to provide nothing less than a safe and fun dining experience. That being said, we ensure that we've taken note of your concern and will rely upon our staff. We hope to have another chance to serve you in the future.
Best Regards,
The Fancy Diner
(written by MARA AI)

This is a great negative review response examples for restaurants on Google. In this detailed response, the restaurant addressed the customer's concern without seeming too defensive. The line "fresh ingredients in reference to our customer's request" provided a potential reason why the eggs seem raw – it could be that the customer wasn't able to communicate his preference.

Regardless of the reason, the response ended with the restaurant ensuring that his concern was duly noted. They even proceeded to encourage the customer to dine with them again.

To learn more on how you can properly respond to Google reviews, click here.


How to respond to negative reviews for eCommerce

A bad feedback on Trustpilot for an online clothing store.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We appreciate all feedback and take it seriously. We understand that your product did not meet your expectations, and we are sorry that you had a negative experience. Rest assured that we're constantly finding ways how we can improve our products, including our materials and packaging modes.
Here at The Fancy Clothing, we strive to be the best online clothing store by providing quality products with excellent customer service, so this situation is not reflective of our values. A representative will send you a private message on how we can arrange a replacement based on our return and exchange policy.
Best Regards,
The Fancy Clothing
(written by MARA AI)

This is a great sample of how an eCommerce store can respond to negative reviews in Trustpilot.

The first crucial part of the response is that it has ensured the reviewer and potential customer that they would improve the materials and packaging of their products, acknowledging the individual concern of the customer.

Next, the response opened the possibility of a replacement. However, it should be in line with their return and exchange policy. This provides a solution for the customer while staying committed to their company rules.

Lastly, the response seamlessly included SEO keywords "best online clothing store ." This could boost the store's visibility to search engines, which is really important for eCommerce stores. While this is a negative feedback, the store was able to maximize the content to its advantage.

Check our complete guide on optimizing your Trustpilot profile and responding to reviews.

How to respond to negative reviews for apps

An example of a negative review for a photo editing app on App Store.
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on our app. We appreciate your honest opinion and understand your frustration with the current update.
Please email us at so our technical team can assist you with using our app.
At The Fancy App, we continuously strive to provide our users with the best photo editing features. Your review will help us resolve possible bugs and improve the app for everyone.
Best Regards,
The Fancy App
(written by MARA AI)

This is one of the best negative review response examples in App Store or Google or Google Play Store. Since bugs and technical issues are common for apps, they publicly provided their email so other users could ask for their assistance. It also slyly included SEO keywords "best photo editing features" to increase its search engine visibility.

Aside from this, it also asked for the active participation of the reviewer in improving their app, making the customer feel valued. This is an excellent way to rebuild customer trust.

To know more on how you can write feature-based and engaging responses for App Store reviews, read our guide here.

How to respond to negative reviews for local businesses

An example of a negative review for a local bank in its Google My Business profile.
Thank you for taking the time to review our service. We are glad to hear that the guards at our branches have been helpful and kind. At The Fancy Bank – West Virginia, we strive to provide safe and secure transactions for each of our customers, which may take some time. Despite this, we continue to strive to provide a customer-centric experience for all customers.
We apologize if you did not have the best experience with us and hope that in the future, we can make your banking experience a positive one.
Best Regards,
The Fancy Bank
(written by MARA AI)

This bank's response to a Google My Business review is an excellent example of how local businesses can respond to negative reviews.

Despite the negative review, the bank reinforced the positive comment on their guards. They also shared a possible reason for the bad experience – the slow turnaround time is because they're trying to make each transaction safe and secure, which is the most critical element for banking services.

Most importantly, since it's a local bank, they were able to use location-based keywords "West Virginia" in their response, boosting their local search relevance.

Despite this excellent and detailed response, local businesses should ensure that their Google My Business profile is fully optimized. To know more about how you can do this, click here.

How to respond to a 1-star review without comments?

Start with showing appreciation towards the review and apologize for the faulty service they might have experienced. After doing this, dedicate most of your response to asking for more information about their review. Encourage the reviewer to send you an email or message your profile privately. This response will show potential customers you’re dedicated to improving your services.

How do you professionally respond to a complaint?

Professionally responding to a complaint involves a structured approach aimed at addressing the customer's concerns while maintaining a positive image for your business. Start by acknowledging the customer's complaint and expressing empathy for their situation. Apologize sincerely, even if the issue wasn't directly your fault, and assure them that you take their feedback seriously. Ask for specific details about the problem to better understand the situation, and let them know that you're committed to resolving it promptly.

To learn more about this, read our complete article How to Handle Customer Complaints: A Guide to Exceptional Customer Service

How do I respond to negative feedback on Google?

When responding to negative feedback on Google, make sure to remain apologetic and empathetic towards the customer’s experience. Aside from this, ensure that your Google My Business profile has updated contact information should other customers wish to clarify something about your products and services.

How do you respond to negative Google Reviews examples?

screenshot sample negative google review with good response
Sample of a negative Google review with a good response. (Source)

Here’s an example of a negative Google review for a restaurant with an excellent response. The reply started by emphasizing the positive note in the review and proceeded to validate the customer’s concern. Ultimately, the response provided context to the negative feedback and even invited the reviewer to revisit their business again. This shows potential clients that the business is confident about their service.

screenshot faulty reply negative review google
Faulty reply to a negative review on Google.(Source)

Consequently, we don’t recommend writing a response like this one. While the business showed accountability, they did it in such a way that they highlighted their mistake. They also showed potential clients that negative reviews would be rewarded. Worst of all, they even showed a team member’s personal information in the reply.

How do you respond to a negative review that is false?

As a business owner, you can flag these false reviews and have the online review websites take them down. If the online review website doesn’t delete the review, it’s best to respond by providing context about the issues stated on the review. Ensure potential customers that it’s an isolated case and ample investigations are being done to ensure that the complaint will not happen to other customers.

How do you turn a bad review into a good review?

Shifting the tone of a bad review and reframing its content is essential to mitigate its negative feedback on your online reputation. To do this, you should remain apologetic towards the customer's experience, ensure that changes are being done to ensure exceptional service, and encourage them to revisit your business to make up for their bad experience.

Generate professional responses to negative reviews with MARA

Responding to negative online reviews can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant, MARA. This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Streamline Review Inbox

Efficiency is paramount when responding to negative reviews. Leaving a single negative review unattended can significantly damage your business.

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google,, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA Review Inbox
Monitor and respond to negative reviews across various websites in one platform.

Review Analytics for Sentiment Analysis

While negative reviews may hurt your online rating, they also provide authentic customer data that allows you to optimize your offers and services. However, to turn a negative review into a business asset, you need to run intuitive data analytics on your online reviews.

To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA Review Analytics
Extract useful customer data from negative reviews.

Personalized AI responses to negative reviews

Using template responses to negative reviews will surely add fuel to the fire. This gives the impression that you can’t care less about the complaints and concerns of your customers.

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback, and economize both time and money is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thought

Managing online reviews, especially negative ones, need not be an overwhelming task. With the appropriate software, not only can you streamline the process, but you can also personalize your responses and derive valuable insights from the reviews. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

This post is part of our hero content series on “How to Use Online Reviews to Your Advantage – The Ultimate Guide".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you respond to an unhappy customer?

When responding to an unhappy customer, it's essential to approach the situation with empathy and a genuine desire to make amends. Begin by acknowledging their dissatisfaction and expressing sincere regret for their negative experience.

How do you respond to a negative review on social media?

Most social media platforms have comment sections where you can respond to negative reviews. Remember that replying to a bad review on social media essentially opens a communication thread to all your customers, so be ready to respond to not just one customer.

How quickly should you respond to a negative review?

Promptness is critical when replying to negative reviews. Providing context and solutions to negative feedback within 48 hours of posting can help mitigate its negative effects on potential customers.

How do you turn a negative review into a positive one?

Turning a negative review into a positive one is essential to attract more customers. To do this, provide context about the issues raised, ensure they are being resolved, and show gratitude towards the customer feedback.

How do you respond to a negative comment example?

When responding to a negative comment, ensure that your reply addresses the negative feedback straightforwardly while remaining apologetic. For example, when someone says “The room is dirty.” you can respond with “Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We would revisit our housekeeping services to ensure a comfortable a clean environment for all our guests.”

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