Publish Date:
December 22, 2023

Responding to Negative Reviews on Facebook - Free Templates Included

This guide covers best practices for responding to negative reviews on Facebook, including customizable templates your business can use to reply to customers.

Facebook may have started as a social media network, but it’s become one of the leading platforms for online business reviews. In a survey by BrightLocal, 46% of consumers reported checking Facebook reviews during the preceding 12-month period – more than Tripadvisor (29%), the Better Business Bureau (24%), Apple Maps (15%), Yellowpages (9%), Angi (9%), or Trustpilot (7%). 

With Facebook reviews exerting so much influence, you need to be careful about the way you respond to them – especially when they’re complaints about your business. A misguided (or nonexistent) response strategy can damage your brand reputation and give consumers a negative impression. On the other hand, an empathetic response to a bad review can help you retain the customer and earn future customers’ trust - kind of the same as a positive review.

This guide will cover all the basics you need to know about responding to negative reviews on Facebook, including: 

  • 9 tips for replying to negative reviews from Facebook users  
  • 3 business owner review response examples  to not-so-positive feedback
  • Customizable templates for replying to negative Facebook reviews 
  • Frequently asked questions about negative reviews on Facebook 

Guide to responding to negative reviews on Facebook 

  1. Respond promptly

Always respond to negative Facebook reviews as soon as possible. While Facebook does not impose any specific response time requirements, you should aim to reply to each review within 24 hours of its publication date – the sooner, the better. 

Be sure to enable Facebook review notifications, or, for an even more effortless solution, use a service that tracks and monitors reviews for your business, like ResponseScribe. 

  1. Check your spelling and grammar

You don’t need to be formal when you’re responding to Facebook reviews, but it’s important to maintain basic standards of professionalism  to make a positive impression on potential customers browsing your Facebook page. Before you respond to negative Facebook reviews, make sure your response is free of misspellings, typos, or other grammatical errors. 

  1. Address the customer’s concern

When you take the time to acknowledge and address the concerns of your customers, it shows that you truly care about their experiences and take their concerns seriously. It also highlights your unwavering commitment to resolving any issues or negative experiences they may have encountered. By doing so, you can build trust and loyalty among your customer base while attracting more customers to your business. 

  1. Apologize to the customer

When it comes to handling negative reviews, offering a sincere apology to the customer is absolutely crucial. You don’t need to write a lengthy apology, but you do need to convey sincerity, understanding, and a willingness to make things right. 

Start by expressing genuine regret for the customer's negative experience. Use phrases such as "We are truly sorry," or, "We apologize for any inconvenience caused." Here are a few more variations you can use: 

  • “We sincerely apologize for…”
  • “Our team is sorry to hear about…”
  • “We’re sorry for your negative experience and deeply regret that…”
     
  1. Have a positive attitude

Sometimes, a negative comment about your business can feel like a personal attack. However, while your emotions might be running high, it’s crucial to respond appropriately. 

Maintain a courteous, respectful tone whenever you’re responding to negative Facebook reviews. Treating the customer with courtesy and respect can help you salvage the damaged relationship, while also making a positive impression on potential customers. 

  1. Personalize your response

Every customer has their own specific needs and preferences, so tailoring your responses to them is vital. By personalizing your interactions online, you can make a remarkable impression on customers and even transform a negative experience into a positive one. This level of care and attention shows that you value each customer as an individual, enhancing the perception of your business in their eyes. 

  1. Provide a solution

Your apology needs to be backed by some sort of action. Along with expressing remorse, you should also try to suggest a potential solution or resolution that adequately addresses the customer's concerns. This could involve providing a refund, offering a replacement product or service, or simply inviting them to contact your support team directly for further assistance.

  1. Direct the conversation offline 

Don’t try to end the conversation, but do try to move it to a more private setting. For example, you can ask the customer to send you a direct message, contact your customer support team via email, or call you to speak with a member of your team. Once you move the conversation offline (or to a direct message), you can go into detail discussing and resolving the issue. 

  1. Report false, fraudulent, or abusive reviews  

Per Facebook’s review removal policy, “You can report Recommendations” – Facebook’s term for reviews –  “that don't follow our Community Standards. We'll review your report and may remove Recommendations that don't follow our standards. Recommendations that only include a star rating can't be reported.” 

First, double-check Facebook’s Community Standards to make sure the review you wish to report qualifies for removal as inappropriate content. To report the review, follow the steps in the screenshot below. 

reviews tab on facebook page to report reviews

facebook review response on business page

When you receive a poor review from an unhappy customer, it’s crucial to respond appropriately. The examples and review response templates below will show you how to put the nine tips we covered into practice. 

3 examples of responding to negative reviews on Facebook

Below, we’ve compiled three examples of effective ways to respond to negative reviews on Facebook, including fake reviews or spam. Each example includes a screenshot of the negative Facebook review, a summary of the reason for the negative feedback, and a modifiable template that your business can use when replying to negative reviews. 

Example #1

example of a negative facebook review and response

Reason for negative post from customer: Poor experience with customer service staff, charges for incomplete service 

Template for responding: “Hi [Customer Name], thank you for [contacting, reaching out to, sharing your feedback with] our team. We understand the [disappointment, frustration] caused by the issue with your [payment, order, refund, etc.] and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We will be addressing the situation with our [leadership, management, customer service] team to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly if there’s anything further we can do to assist you! Thanks again for reviewing [Business Name].” 

Example #2  

example of a negative facebook review and response

Reason for negative post from customer: Spam

Template for responding: Thank you for your review, [Reviewer Name]. [Business Name] is a [description of your business here]. As such, we believe this review may have been posted in error. If there’s anything we can assist you with, please contact us directly for further support. Thanks again for [reviewing, rating, sharing your feedback about, commenting on, etc.] [Business Name]. 

Example #3 

example of a negative facebook review and response

Reason for negative post from customer: Payment-related issue 

Template for responding: “[Review Name], we at [Business Name] are [deeply, sincerely, truly] sorry for any inconvenience your [payment arrangement, rescheduled appointment, delayed refund, incorrect order, etc.] has caused you [and your family]. Please reach out directly to our [customer service, customer support, finance, leasing] team so that we can review your [account, upcoming appointment dates, upcoming payment, missing item, etc.] and work to get it resolved for you. We want all of our [customers, residents, diners, community members, etc.] to have a positive experience with our business, and we hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for providing us with your feedback.” 

How to easily manage reviews on Facebook 

You’ve accomplished your goal of getting more Facebook reviews. Next, to benefit from your reviews as much as possible – including low ratings and negative comments – you need an efficient, organized system for responding. 

One method is using AI tools to handle negative Facebook reviews. Using AI to generate responses is more efficient than writing every response from scratch, but this strategy still has several drawbacks: 

  • It requires you to manually copy and paste each review into the tool  to generate a response. This approach can be time-consuming, costly, and ultimately impractical, especially for large businesses that need to respond to large volumes of online reviews. 
  • It doesn’t provide any solutions for review monitoring, forcing you to continue tracking your Facebook business page (and other review sites) for new ratings. 

ResponseScribe was designed to provide a better, more cost-effective alternative for businesses that are looking for review management solutions. 

The way it works is simple: we monitor 50+ social media networks and review platforms for new ratings and reviews of your business, including Facebook, Yelp, Google, Tripadvisor, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Whenever you receive a new review, our expert responders and AI technology take immediate action to provide the customer with a fast, friendly, professional response that aligns with your branding and image. 

We offer a range of pricing plans to meet your company’s needs – without exceeding its budget. You’ll never be locked into any contracts and are free to change plans at any time. 

Demo our Facebook review response service for small businesses

Over 10,000 brands trust ResponseScribe for local review management, including Kia, Burger King, Denny’s, Chick-fil-A, Storage King, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Wyndham, Aspen Dental, Admiral Pest Control, and more. Find out if we’re a good fit for your business. Get started for free – and start growing your business today. 

FAQs

How do you respond to a negative review?

Every response to a negative Facebook review should be unique. However, there are some elements that successful replies to negative feedback tend to share in common. These elements include using the customer’s name, apologizing to the customer, referencing details from the negative review, and encouraging the customer to follow up. It’s also important to respond to bad reviews swiftly, especially if they involve an ongoing situation (like a leaking pipe) and not a past experience (like a disappointing meal).

Can you contest a bad review on Facebook?

Like Yelp and other online platforms, Facebook encourages authenticity and honesty in user reviews and ratings. While you can (and should) report any review that violates Facebook’s guidelines, you don’t have much recourse when it comes to challenging negative reviews that obey the platform’s policies. The most effective way to handle negative feedback from customers on Facebook is to respond publicly on your Facebook page, following the best practices we’ve discussed throughout this guide.

Will Facebook remove a bad review?

Facebook will not remove bad reviews simply because they are negative. To be taken down, negative reviews must violate Facebook’s community guidelines. For example, Facebook prohibits reviews that are “excessively graphic, inflammatory, violent, discriminatory, or threatening to any person or group,” along with irrelevant or off-topic reviews, incentivized or paid reviews, and spam. If you believe a negative review violates Facebook’s policies, you can report it by clicking the triple-dot icon on the review, then selecting the “Report Post” option.

How to report a bad review of Facebook?

Facebook doesn't allow “excessively graphic, inflammatory, violent, discriminatory, or threatening to any person or group,” along with irrelevant or off-topic reviews, incentivized or paid reviews, and spam. However, it doesn't monitor all reviews, so you have to report such reviews on your own. If a negative review violates Facebook’s policies, report it by clicking the triple-dot icon on the review and then select the “Report Post” option.

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