Responding to a Horrible Review

The unthinkable happens: a customer left you a horrible 2-star review on google and complained publicly about a lack of service. What do you do next? 

Acknowledge the Issue

Thank them for their feedback and for bringing this to your attention. Even if the issue is at no fault of your store, this will make them feel heard. 

“Thank you for your feedback and for letting us know.”


Even if it was out of your control, empathize with their situation. 

“I’m sorry that you had that experience!”


When determining if you should explain publicly why the situation happened, you will have to decide if future potential clients would benefit from knowing that information as well. 

For example: If you were unable to take a walk-in client, due to your appointment-only policy, it would be beneficial to other customers to see your response! 

“Due to Covid-19, we are working on an appointment-only basis to protect our customers and staff.”

Take the Situation to a Private Channel

After you have acknowledged the issue and apologized (even if it wasn’t your fault), offer options to re-engage with your business. 
For example, we’ll use the appointment-only scenario.

“Thank you for letting us know about your experience yesterday. We’re so sorry that you were unable to shop with us! Due to Covid-19, we are working on an appointment-only basis to protect our customers and staff. Please give me a call at the number below. I’d love to set up an appointment with you at your earliest convenience! 

( Your Name ) 
( Your Position )
( Store Phone Number ) 
( Company Email )

By following this outline when responding to a horrible review, protecting your store’s reputation online should be more manageable. You will also open up the opportunity to align the negative review author more closely with your brand, and convert them into a satisfied customer. For more information on Google Business, read our blogs on Setting Up your Google Business Page, and Getting More Google Reviews!