September 25, 2023

Responding to Negative Reviews Examples for Different Businesses

We all know how crucial it is to respond to negative online reviews – not doing so creates a bad impression. Millions of people can potentially see these interactions on the web, as – according to Brightlocal – a staggering 98% of people read online reviews for local companies.

Still, many business owners need help with responding to such criticism appropriately. It isn’t surprising if you think about it – accepting, processing, and responding to harsh criticism can be hard, especially when you are emotionally invested in your local business.

Thankfully, we can help. In this article, we’ll provide plenty of tips for responding to negative reviews, examples (templates) you can use, and even introduce a service that’ll make the entire process much more manageable. 

How to respond to negative reviews (examples)

Now we will discuss negative review response examples in different fields and situations. From one star reviews to neutral reviews. They can serve as inspiration or even be used as customizable templates, but depending on the issue the customer faces, you may need a slightly different response. 

We will follow a simple but effective strategy:


1. Address the customer using their first name

2. Sincerely apologize for the negative experience the customer had

3. Reassure them that you aren’t taking this lightly

4. Show commitment to improvement and close the conversation politely

Here are examples of responses for eight different industries:

Health

A bad review regarding misdiagnosis or treatment concern

a bad google review on misdiagnosis

Instead of responding in a manner that can possibly discredit the customer’s feelings and experience, here is a better solution for responding to a customer complaint:

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

We are sorry to hear you are concerned about your diagnosis/treatment. 

We take such issues very seriously. We’ll review the situation in detail to understand what went wrong and take steps to ensure such problems don’t happen in the future. 

We’d also like to offer you a free consultation with one of our doctors. 

Please contact us at [email] or call at [phone number] if you have further concerns. 

Thank you for choosing us, and we hope to hear from you soon.

Long wait times or scheduling problems

a bad google review on scheduling problems

Here is a template you can use in this situation:

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

We apologize for the scheduling issues/long wait times you experienced. We understand how frustrating it can be to not be able to book an urgent appointment.

We are reviewing this situation to see how we can improve our scheduling and wait time management. We hope you’ll revisit us in the future so that we can make a better impression. 

Again we apologize for not setting an urgent appointment for you.

Thank you for choosing us, and we hope to hear from you soon.

Restaurant

Bad food quality or menu variety

a bad restaurant review

The owner didn’t reply to the bad review, which is common for busy restaurant owners. However, here is an example you can use that will make a better impression on the customer:

[Reviewer’s name], 

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review.

We're sorry our restaurant and food quality didn’t meet your expectations. 

We plan our menu and prepare dishes with the utmost care, and we feel bad about falling short in this area. We will look at our offer and preparation methods to see what we can do to achieve better results. 

Providing high-quality food is a standard we strive for every day, so I’m sorry our rolls, steak and salad didn’t reflect that.

I will pass this along to the kitchen staff. Thank you for your honest opinion – such constructive feedback is crucial to us.

Slow service

a bad service review

Thank you for your feedback, [Reviewer’s name]. 

We apologize for the long wait times and poor service. I will look into this issue and make the necessary changes to ensure our employees are at your service. 

We’re sorry your experience at our bar wasn’t better, but feedback like yours helps us make improvements in the right direction.

We hope you’ll revisit us in the future so that we can make a better impression. Thank you again for your comments.

Travel

Unclean or uncomfortable room

a bad booking review

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We are glad that your dinner experience was top-notch. However, we apologize for the inconvenience with your hotel room.

Our premises' cleanliness and guests' comfort are always our priorities, and we’re sorry our hotel fell short of your expectations. We hope you’ll revisit us in the future so that we can make a better impression and we’d like to offer you a discount during your next stay. 

Again, we apologize for the poor room service.

Thank you for your valuable feedback.

Booking errors

booking error review

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

We apologize for the booking error. 

We’re very sorry for the confusion and any problems it caused you. We are reviewing this situation to see why it happened and how we can improve our process. We hope you’ll revisit us in the future so that we can make a better impression, and we’d like to offer you a discount during your next stay. 

Please contact us at [email] or call at [phone number] if you have further concerns. 

Read our negative hotel reviews guide for more tips.

Home Services

Unprofessional behaviour

a bad home services review

Dear [Reviewer’s name], 

We apologize for the experience you had with our company. 

The employee’s behavior was unprofessional, and we’re sorry for your discomfort and inconvenience. We’ll address this situation with our staff to prevent such things from happening in the future. 

We understand your frustration and invite you to contact us a (contact number) so we can address your concerns.

Thank you for your valuable opinion.

Automotive

Car problem

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

We're very sorry to hear that you’ve had a problem with your car.

We strive to offer our customers excellent quality, and we apologize we failed to deliver on that front. We'll review our processes to resolve issues and prevent them from occurring in the future. Also, allow us to offer you a free service check to ensure everything is safe and in order.

Please contact us at [email] or call at [phone number] to make an appointment. 

Thank you for your feedback.

Legal

Lost case

a bad legal services review

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

We are sorry to hear that your case's outcome is unsatisfactory. 

We always strive to provide our clients with the best legal representation, and we understand very well how important it is to achieve a good result. We’ll review the case to see whether we can improve our case preparation process. 

Please us at [email] or call at [phone number] to further discuss your particular case and how we can help.

Again we apologize and thank you for your feedback.

High price

a bad high price review

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

We are sorry to hear that you feel we overcharged you for the legal service we provided. We do what we can to offer fair and competitive pricing, but we understand it’s subjective matter. 

We appreciate your feedback and will use the knowledge you provided to offer a free consultation in certain situations.

Please us at [email] or call at [phone number] to further discuss your particular case and what we can offer.

Real Estate

Unresponsive agent

a bad real estate review

Dear Mr/Ms [insert name if available], 

We are sorry our agent didn’t respond to your communication attempts. We understand how frustrating this situation can be.

We’ll review the situation in detail to understand what went wrong and take steps to ensure such problems don’t happen in the future. We’d also like to offer you a free consultation with a different agent. 

Please contact us at [email] or call at [phone number] to make an appointment. 

Thank you for your business and detailed feedback.

Other services

Wedding venue 

a bad wedding venue review

Thank you for your feedback, [Reviewer’s name]. 

We are sorry to hear that we failed to meet your expectations. Communication is a key part of our brand, so we deeply apologize for not reflecting that. 

We passed the information along to our team. We take such criticism very seriously and will do our best to iron out the issues you mentioned. 

We hope you found a great venue and that your wedding was fantastic.

>>Click to download our full template list <<

Best practices for responding to negative reviews

Even the best template won’t cover every potential scenario. Here’s a list of best practices to follow when responding to negative reviews:

  1. Acknowledge the customer's concerns – if the issue is real, don’t try to hide it. Even if the problem highlighted in the review isn’t 100% real – for example, it stems from misuse or misunderstanding of the product – at the very least, try to acknowledge the person’s concerns somehow. 
  2. Apologize for any issues or problems they experienced – apologize for the issues or problems your customers faced, even if you feel they weren’t entirely your company’s fault. There may be something you’re unaware of. 
  3. Offer a solution or explanation for the issue – if you know the root cause behind the problem, explain it honestly in an easily understood way. Tell the customer what they can do to fix the issue or – at the very least – avoid it in the future. Or tell them what you’re going to do to improve things.
  4. Provide contact information for further assistance – you should always end your responses with contact details the person can use to reach out to your customer service team directly in case they need further help (both email and phone in case they prefer to take the conversation offline). 
  5. Keep the response professional and empathetic – no matter what problems the review highlights, no matter whether they’re real or not, you should always write your responses in a professional, toned, and empathetic manner. 
  6. Personalize the response to address the specific concerns mentioned in the review – avoid answering customer concerns with messages that contain general statements. Customize your responses so that people who read them see someone took the time to address their issues. 
  7. Avoid canned responses and respond promptly – try not to use so-called “canned responses”, i.e. pre generated statements about a known issue. It can make your customers feel sidelined – not appropriately engaged. Also, respond to reviews promptly, especially when they’re negative.

How to respond to negative reviews easier

Responding to negative reviews takes up a lot of time and energy, and most local business owners don’t have that – that’s why most negative reviews are left unanswered or answered poorly.

Using pre-made templates helps speed up the process, but often, non-personalized answers won’t significantly impact your brand’s online reputation. If you don’t have time to commit to answering reviews in detail, ResponseScribe can help you.

Whether is it is responding to negative reviews on Facebook, bad Yelp reviews or any other platform.

ResponseScribe is an end-to-end service that helps businesses respond to online reviews by creating personalized, on-brand messages on their behalf.

ResponseScribe utilizes AI, but our real strength lies in people. Depending on your chosen pricing plan, the review responses you get can be created partly or entirely by human writers. You can count on responses with the best possible personalization and customization.

We aim to manage as much of the review response process as you, as the client, want us to. Would you like us to create entire responses based on our extensive experience and knowledge about the business you gave us? No problem.

Do you prefer to remain in control and want to edit or approve every response before it’s published? We’re ready for that, too. You’ll get SMS or email notifications once we prepare the copies.

Our prices start at just $20 per month, and we monitor reviews on 50 + review sites, including Facebook, Google, and Yelp. You can ensure no critical review goes unnoticed – simply connect your review sites and let us do what we do best!

What do you gain by using ResponseScribe?

  • Professional, personalized responses – thanks to ResponseScribe, your customers will receive curated, personalized responses to their reviews aligned well with your company’s image and branding. No concerns will go unanswered, and your team will be able to focus on more productive and essential tasks.
  • Saved time and money – our price starts at $20, and we have a quick turnaround – we usually deliver responses within an hour of the review.
  • Communication consistent with your image – our trained responders will craft professional, empathetic responses that will always be consistent with your brand's broader communication strategy. It’ll help you create a good image among your customers, improving brand loyalty.
  • Help with building your online presence – over 10,000 local businesses trust ResponseScribe with their review responses. We know how to create a presence for companies online, and we want to use this knowledge for your benefit – to help you interact with your customers and build long-lasting business relationships. 

Conclusion

Responding to negative reviews is crucial – an unhappy customer can be determined to make their voice heard.

You can make this process even easier by using ready-made templates for various scenarios or – better yet – investing in an end-to-end service like ResponseScribe that’ll take this entire process out of your hands (or as much so as you prefer).

Our service will help you create professional, on-brand responses to even the harshest criticism. You’ll save time and money and show your existing and potential customers you care.

Want to check ResponseScribe out? Start your free trial today – we’ll gladly show you how our service can help you!

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Frequently asked questions

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How to offer a solution or make things right in response to a negative review?
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