Negative review response examples

negative review response examples

Receiving a negative review can be disheartening for businesses, but responding properly to them is crucial. Not only can it help mend a potentially damaged relationship, but a well-crafted response shows potential customers you care about their satisfaction and are willing to take responsibility for any issues that may arise. This guide provides examples, templates, and best practices to equip you with the tools and strategies needed for effective negative review responses.

The Core Principles of a Good Negative Review Response

The key elements that should be present in any negative review response can be summarized with the acronym ARTFUL:

  1. Apologize
  2. Respect & validation
  3. Take responsibility
  4. Focusing on the details
  5. Understand the harm done
  6. Look for resolution


A sincere and well-placed apology sets the tone for the rest of the response. It shows the customer that you've read and understood their negative feedback and care about remedying their concerns.

Show Respect & Validation

Validating the customer's feelings demonstrates empathy. Acknowledge their emotions by recognizing they didn't have an ideal experience and thank them for bringing the issue to your attention.

Take Responsibility

Attempt to avoid excuses or placing blame on the customer. Show that you accept ownership of the problem and are committed to learning from it and finding a solution.

Focus on the Details

Addressing specific aspects of the negative review shows a genuine interest in resolving the issue. It also allows you to personalize your response and avoid using generic or automated replies that can deter potential customers.

Understand the Harm Done

Taking a moment to reflect on how the customer's experience negatively impacted them shows consideration for their perspective. This understanding will be visible in your response and may contribute to rebuilding trust.

Look for Resolution

After acknowledging and apologizing for the problem, offer solutions whenever appropriate. This could involve offering compensation, suggesting ways to resolve the issue at hand, or promising to improve your services in the future.

Negative Review Response Examples & Templates

The following examples and templates demonstrate these seven principles in action:

Example 1: A Wrongly Delivered Order

Dear [Customer Name],

We're terribly sorry for the mix-up with your order. We understand how frustrating this must have been for you, and we want to correct this situation as swiftly as possible.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused. Our team is working diligently to investigate what went wrong and ensure this does not happen again in the future. We appreciate your patience during this process.

To make amends for our mistake, we'd like to offer you a [discount/coupon/refund] on your next purchase/order. If there's anything else we can do to remedy the situation, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We value your feedback and continued support.

Best regards,

[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Your Company]

Example 2: A Dissatisfied Customer with Service Quality

Dear [Customer Name],

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding our service. We're sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations, and we want you to know that we take your concerns very seriously.

Our team is committed to providing excellent customer service, and it's clear from your review that we have room for improvement in this area. We'll be reviewing your comments internally and working on immediate changes to enhance the quality of our service.

Your satisfaction is a top priority for us, so if there's anything else we can do to better serve you in the future, please don't hesitate to reach out.


[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Your Company]

Tips for Timely & Effective Communication

Beyond crafting thoughtful responses using the ARTFUL approach, consider these communication tips:

  • Be proactive: Monitor various review platforms frequently, ensuring you can respond quickly to negative feedback.
  • Keep it concise: Address the problem efficiently without overwhelming the reader or talking around the issue.
  • Stay professional: Although the urge to defend yourself might arise, always maintain a respectful and understanding tone towards the reviewer.
  • Add a personal touch: Avoid generic responses by customizing replies according to each unique situation and addressing reviewers by their names whenever possible.
  • Make amends offline: Invite the unhappy customer to contact you directly through email or phone to discuss a resolution privately.

In conclusion, responding to negative reviews is an essential part of maintaining a reputable online presence. By implementing these best practices, you can demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and foster positive relationships with existing and potential clients.

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