Respond to those negative reviews already!

negative review

In a recent survey from, 22 percent of people said the main reason they chose the bank where they have their primary checking account was because of its reputation and recommendations from family or friends. In a further survey from BrightLocal, 91 percent of consumers said that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business. On the flip side, negative reviews – which every business is destined to encounter – can result in the opposite. Therefore, it is important for financial institutions, such as community banks and credit unions – and any/all businesses- to devote time, energy – and sometimes dollars – toward monitoring their online reputation.

So how do you deal with a negative review? What if someone leaves an inappropriate review? Ignoring negative/inappropriate reviews will not make them disappear. Therefore, it’s how you deal with them that can help customers/members understand what your business stands for and what they should expect by choosing you.

How do you deal with a negative review?

Don’t overcomplicate things. Here are a few simple things you should always do when someone posts a negative review:

  1. Respond in a timely manner, acknowledge them by name and be polite.
  2. Apologize for their negative experience – be sincere – whether or not the experience was your fault, it was their perspective.
  3. Take it offline. Give your customer a phone number and email address so you can talk with them one on one. Do not engage in detailed conversations online – before you know it, the conversation might spiral out of control.

By responding to negative reviews, the goal is to win back unhappy customers and prevent potential customers from doing business elsewhere.

Here is an example of how to respond to a negative review:

  • Thank you, Sara, for bringing this to our attention and we sincerely apologize for your experience. I would welcome the opportunity to connect to learn more about your experience so we can address it with all our staff to make sure it does not happen in the future. You can reach me directly at <insert phone number> or <insert email address>. You have a lot of choices on where to do business, so thank you for your patronage. We appreciate you!


<insert name>

What if someone leaves an inappropriate review?

Reviews that violate Google review policies can be removed from your Google My Business listing. Check here for instructions and when you can expect to see the review addressed by Google.

Facebook removed the star rating system and now only allows your customer to recommend or not recommend your business, which means more people will be writing reviews. As a business you can easily report inappropriate or unfair recommendations by selecting “Give Feedback” in the post menu, which will report to Facebook the content you think is unfair, inappropriate or spam. Facebook will determine whether or not to remove the recommendation. You do not have the ability to remove a recommendation on your own.

As a side note, Facebook has a profanity filter to prevent inappropriate language on your business page. You can choose whether to block profanity from your page, and to what degree. Go to the “Settings” on your business page to turn on the filter.

By responding to negative reviews in a timely manner, showing empathy, taking the conversation offline and thanking customers for their patronage, a bad review can in fact become your best review yet! If you need help with your online reputation management, contact us at Chartwell Agency.