If you’ve ever received a negative client review online, then you know how this can impact your business. That’s why today I want to share 3 tips for handling negative client reviews so that you and your business can still exit the situation looking professional.

1. Don’t Get Defensive & Respond

Negative reviews are hurtful, especially if they were unexpected. You could have spent months working with a client on their event, giving it your all, only to turn around and have them leave a negative review.

You’re human. It’s ok to feel hurt and to get defensive. But you’re also running a business, so it’s important to think about your brand and your image before reacting.

That review is a reflection of how your client was feeling in that moment, and might not be a true representation of your skills.

This one is a tough one, but I highly recommend to try to not get defensive whenever you receive a negative client review.

2. Reach Out to the Client Offline

Once you’ve digested the review and looked into what the client’s complaint was about, it’s important to take the time to connect with them.

That client left a negative review for a reason. This is your opportunity to speak with them to get a better understanding of what led to that feedback and why they didn’t feel comfortable enough to connect with you directly.

Maybe after a discussion, you can come to an agreement of how to fix the issue and have the review removed. This is why it’s important to reach out and listen to their concerns.

But I’ll be honest, not all situations with a negative review will end amicably. Some clients might not wish to remove their review or accept your offer to remedy the situation – and that’s fine. This is when I would like you to respond to their review publicly.

Here’s a sample response that you can use:

Hello [NAME],
I’m really sorry to hear about the experience you had with [Company] and hope you will accept my sincerest apologies.

My business thrives on providing an unparalleled client experience and your review came as a surprise and I would like to make things right.

I wanted to see if you had a moment to speak, so I can better understand what could have been done differently in this situation or how I can offer you a solution to make up for your experience.

If you prefer, you can also contact me directly at [phone/email].

I value my client’s opinions and would like to thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Yours sincerely,
[Name]
[Company name and/or position – optional]

3. Respond to the Review Publicly

If the client does not remove the review, I highly recommend responding to the review publicly.

Why?

Other clients will be searching online before hiring you and you want them to see not only a negative review but also evidence of how you handled the situation. Respond to the client publicly, apologize, offer a solution and offer to connect with them privately.

This will show that you are open to fixing situations with your clients and that your business cares about your clients’ satisfaction.

Conclusion

Negative client reviews are never pleasant, but positive reviews can help. If you’ve recently received a negative review follow the tips above to remedy the situation.

I also want to challenge you to reach out to your past clients who you know have had a positive experience with you and ask them to leave you a review as well.

Do you know what the best counteraction is to a negative review? A positive one.