How To Respond to Negative Reviews Online Like A Pro!

You, the business owner head to your salon ready to start another busy, hair-raising day of customers, employees, deliveries, emails, phone calls and everything in between.

Finally! It’s the end of your day, let’s say 9 pm, you’re heading out the door, albeit tired but satisfied that you are doing what you love. *BUZZ* You feel the vibration of your phone, thinking it’s your spouse harping about your whereabouts. Instead, it’s the dreaded 1-star review, from Raven L. “This is the worst salon I’ve ever been too…!”

*GASP* You can’t bear to read more but you have to. Turning off your phone won’t make it go away, and leaving it unanswered signals to other potential customers who may read this review that you don’t care. Now, before you do something drastic, like say, shut down your shop. Continue reading this article, and we’ll show you how to face them head on in 5 easy steps!

Let’s get started…


Step 1: You must respond to not 1, not 2, but ALL of your negative reviews.
Yes, it can be painful, but it’s your reputation that you are protecting! Replying to your negative reviews shows that you aren’t sweeping your problems under the rug, and it shows that you care about every customer experience, not just the positive ones. Note: Not only will the disgruntled customer see that you’ve reached out, but also potential customers who come across the review will see the exchange.

Step 2:You must apologize and empathize with the customer!
Generally, there are two sides to every story, but in this case, the customer is always right. Think about it for a second. That customer took the time to explain to the owner why their needs were unmet and in most cases will thoroughly explain in great detail. That right there is an opportunity! They want to be heard and you can give it to them by following up with actions to make sure that this problem never happens again.

Step 3:Throw a little bit of marketing in there.
Take that situation and spin it so that future customers can see that this situation is not the norm for your business. Very Important Tip: Make sure not to mention your business name when responding to negative reviews. Search engines never forget, and you don’t want your business name associating with the negative every time someone searches for your company.

Step 4:Keep it short and sweet!
Back and forth exchanges can quickly snowball and become a life of its own. A rule of thumb: max 3 sentences should be enough. Take this business for stance, who is now permanently closed, Amy’s Baking Company located in Scottsdale, Arizona. They were profiled on Gordon Ramsay’s show, “Kitchen Nightmare” reportedly threatening unhappy customers both in person and online and stealing tips from their employees. This effectively lead to their demise as they are no longer in business. Read the link here

Step 5:Move the conversation and solution offline

Last, but certainly not least, you want to move the conversation and solution offline. There shouldn’t be a long history between you and your customer. Instead, make sure that you can provide support to the customer offline either through email or phone.

And that’s it! There you have it. It wasn’t so bad after all, right?

If you’d like to find out other ways to protect your reputation and get 5-star reviews at the same time, click the image below.





Damali Thomas BA, M.Ed

Damali Thomas is a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at Go Social Or Die Digital Agency. She has her Bachelor's in Psychology and Masters in Education and Digital Technology.She has a cat named Cairo.Her favourite business quote: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” —Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder