Reviews are key to your online reputation, and it can be frustrating to receive a review that you may not be satisfied with or feel you don’t deserve. Although you may disagree with the review, it’s important to be professional in your response. Here are some suggestions for responding to negative reviews you may receive on your account:

Take a moment (or two) before you respond.

Take a few hours or even a day before responding to a negative review. Your response is public, so you want to make sure you don’t say something that you will regret later. When you’re calm and ready to address the issue, then you can carefully write your response.

Keep it simple.

Try not to post a long response. You don’t want to overcomplicate the matter. The goal should be to address the reviewer’s concerns (to show you are listening) and to acknowledge their feelings (to show you care). As a rule of them, try for no more than 3 or 4 lines.

Don’t play the “he said, she said” game.

The customer is always right (even when they’re wrong!). So there’s no need to try to change their minds or dispute the review right there online and in public. Instead, apologize in the most honest way–and if it was out of your control, say that. End by letting them know that you value their business and that ultimately your goal was and always is to create a fantastic [insert your service].

Before you publish, ask someone else to read your response.

Before posting the response, have someone else read it. Ask them to give you their honest feedback. Does it come off as defensive or combative? And try reading your response from the perspective of a potential client–you want them to see that you are open to feedback and always professional in your communication.

Go back and respond to your positive reviews.

Beyond responding to the negative review, you should really go back and respond to all of your reviews. Not only is it nice to your reviewers but it signals to future clients that you really take the time to listen and that you care.

Move on.

After receiving a negative review, the most important thing you can do is to keep collecting more reviews! The more recent reviews you receive, the lower that review gets pushed down the page. (Hint: Use our Review Collector Tool to keep collecting positive reviews, and you’ll soon forget all about that negative review.)