How to Respond to Positive and Negative Reviews

Modern consumers are very much different from people in the past. Innovation and technology have made them more connected and smarter. They have also learned to value the importance of social and environmental impact. Today, 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews before buying a product or service. Around 79% of them trust reviews as personal recommendations. While 62% have noted that they will not engage on brands that censor online evaluations and ratings.

A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that customer reviews are tricky. Negative reviews can hurt a brand or business. While a perfect review score can also raise a warning bell. Interestingly, 6 out of 10 shoppers view less=perfect review scores as more authentic. That is why they will continue doing researches on brands and products with a perfect review score. As eCommerce stores boom, it is important for brands and businesses to know how to respond to positive and negative reviews.

Why Should You Respond to Online Reviews?

Warren Buffett, a famous American businessman, and philanthropist was quoted as saying: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” From this quote, we know to realize the importance of responding to online reviews. 

According to a social media agency Hong Kong, responding to online reviews can help solidify a good online reputation. When a brand or business promptly replies to a customer’s opinion, it makes the customer feel valued. Statistics show that responding to online reviews makes brands and businesses 1.7 times more trustworthy than others. So, when you are properly replying to your clients, you are creating a good impression on everyone else reading it. 

Responding to online reviews also gives the brand or business a chance to turn a negative review into an opportunity to boost engagement. A Harris study showed that 33 percent of negative reviews turned into positive reviews after getting a response. Another 34 percent simply deleted their negative reviews. So, if you are consistently responding to online reviews, you can avoid bad reviews from ruining your business. It allows you to turn disappointed customers into happy advocates of your brand. 

When you respond to online reviews, you are also preventing more negative reviews. Sometimes, ignoring a negative comment can end up as a viral social media issue. Responding to negative comments timeously shows that you are paying attention to your clients. Other clients who will see your reply are less likely to write a negative review. This is because they have already read an assurance of how things will be taken care of. 

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

Remember that generating online reviews is the best way to spread the word about your brand or business. So, when responding to positive online reviews, don’t forget to thank the reviewer. If possible, incentivize extra purchases to turn them into a business opportunity. Encourage the reviewer to do more business with you through a crafty call-to-action (CTA).

A video marketing agency Hong Kong suggested taking a step further when responding to positive online reviews. One way is to mention the reviewer on a live broadcast to make him or her feel important. Personally thank the reviewer by mentioning his or her name on a short video clip. If possible, highlight the specific feature, product, or service where the customer specifically showed happiness or satisfaction. Avoid sugar coating. Be sure to read the customer’s review and understand it well. Dropping a personal comment can also do if you don’t want to go for a live broadcast. 

Last, you may encourage your customer to share their positive review on other platforms like your social media pages. But don’t let them do all the work. You can also share an online positive review to your business website, social media handles, and other online pages. 

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Acknowledging the customer’s pain points and being open to further discussion is the best way to respond to a negative online review. It is not as easy as responding to a positive review. A negative review may sound upsetting but be sure to keep your cool and composure when replying to them. 

Breathe! Take time to separate your emotions from your business practices. Assess the negative review carefully and try to picture out the reply objectively. When responding to a negative review, never forget to thank the customer for the unsolicited feedback. 

Even if it is not your fault, apologize to show sympathy. But don’t get too apologetic. Keep them short and sweet. Some examples are:

  • “We apologize that our service did not satisfy your expectations.”
  • “We’re so sorry that your experience did not match your expectations. This is on us.”
  • “We set a high standard for ourselves, and we’re so sorry to hear this was not met in your interaction with our business.”

See to it that your apology is only a small part of the response. Being overly apologetic may be a sign of unprofessionalism. 


Knowing how to respond to positive and negative reviews is critical to every business or brand. No matter how cordial and organize your company is, negative reviews will inevitably surface online. If you truly care about your customers, take time to care about their criticisms, feedbacks, and opinions.