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So someone just gave your business a bad review. Sure, it might have felt like a punch in the gut, especially if you’re extremely passionate about what you do, but you nonetheless kept it cool and wrote out a polite, professional response. (Not like these guys.)

What happens afterwards, though? Is there anything else you can do after writing the words that serve as your response to a bad review? Or are these words enough? These are a couple of questions commonly asked by business owners who are truly committed to enhancing their reputation management and review monitoring efforts. If you’re one of these business owners, just read on and check out what else you can do after writing your review response.

Managing Bad Reviews

Address the issue. Did the customer complain about food that had been served cold? If so, go to your kitchen and communicate with your chef. Did a guest criticize the cleanliness and order of his or her hotel room? Talk to housekeeping and figure out what happened. Did your dealership receive a one-star review because of a faulty brake problem wasn’t resolved? Approach your car dealership’s service tech or manager and ask why.

The key here is to get to the heart of the problem or issue raised by the customer who gave your business a bad review. Talk to your people, find out what went wrong, and make the decisions that you need to make in order to ensure that the customer experience will be better next time.

Managing Bad Reviews: What Else You Can Do After Writing a Response

Review the info on your business pages and listings. There’ll be times when – no matter how awesome your product or service is – you get a bad review just because an existing or potential customer was misinformed. (Check out the case of this Chicago sandwich shop called Grahamwich, which received a one-star Yelp review before it even opened.)

That’s why it’s important for you to regularly track, manage, and monitor online review sites – and make sure that the information posted in your business pages and listings are all correct. Specify how many parking slots you have, or where exactly you’re located on the map, or how many tables are open for reservations, or when your special gift certificates or vouchers are accepted. Always check and double-check. You won’t believe how many businesses make this simple mistake of having inaccurate info online.

Made an honest mistake? Say sorry and offer a special deal. Writing out a response is only the first step to managing a negative review online. If you made an honest mistake, say so and apologize. Offer a complimentary drink, a discount coupon, an extra night for free, a gift certificate: something that allows you to demonstrate how much you value feedback and how ready you are to rebuild your relationship with the aggrieved customer.

Inappropriate review? Act to get it removed. Responding to a bad review won’t do anything to enhance your online reputation if the said review is fake, inappropriate, off-topic, or spammy. Yes, there are loads of these – and they’re actually hurting the credibility of today’s most popular review sites.

Anyway, if you think you have grounds for having a review removed from your business page or listing, don’t do nothing. Act. Visit your review site’s business help center, read their content policy, report the problem, and find out what other steps you need to take in order to flag a fake, unlawful, irrelevant, or spam-filled review as inappropriate. If the review does violate the review site’s guidelines, you can breathe and rest assured that the site will take it down.

Looking for a better mousetrap? Sign up today to get started with ReviewTrackers, a scalable review monitoring solution for businesses of all kinds and sizes.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Doyle

    Maybe it would be better to put a complaint notebook on a visible place in your restaurant/cafe/hotel. If your guests have some objections they can write them down on the spot and leave without holding a grudge. There is a chance that they won’t feel a need to write a negative review online because they had already wrote it – in your notebook. In that case, a potential clients won’t see the bad review before they choose hotel/cafe/restaurant and if they are satisfied with your service, they will write a good review. In conclusion, it is better to resolve the bad review crisis on spot, then to let them leave the place unsatisfied.

    • nealcal

      A good idea actually 🙂

  2. TomYoon

    I’m not sure if this is off the topic, so apologies if it is. I just wanted to ask if it’s possible to remove a bad review from Google? Thanks.

  3. Jay Bird

    Ok. to have a notebook in your restaurant, or hotel, or in any kind of business is a good idea. A bed review could help you to provide and improve better services, to remove mistakes, to meet customer demands. In every business your’s goal is to make money and to improve yourself. People today are like spoiled brats, they want best for their money, but sometimes human error happens and it is not always possible to get the best service. But that is not the reason to give a bed review (because your meal was cold or to salty etc.)