Got a Bad Review? Here’s How to Turn it Into a Positive

Every company has to deal with bad reviews. You can’t avoid these reviews, but you can manage them in a productive way. Look at a bad review as the customer’s way of asking for help. If you can fix whatever went wrong with their experience, they will probably appreciate it. This article will offer several tips for turning bad reviews into good ones.

Always Respond To Bad Reviews

You should respond to every bad review within 48 hours. Don’t respond immediately in case the customer is in a bad mood, which could hamper your attempts to reach out. Give them a night to sleep on it and then respond in the morning.

Your public response should not be a defense of your company. Rather than worry about your own reputation, focus on fixing whatever made the customer unhappy. Ask them for more details about what went wrong. Assure them that you are personally prepared to fix the problem and give them your contact information.

It’s acceptable to send a private message with any sensitive information, but make sure the bulk of the text is public. Even if the bad review stays up forever, your response will show future customers that you take these complaints seriously.

Be Generous

If you are generous with unhappy customers, they may turn into your biggest fans. This is known as the service recovery paradox, which states that fixing a problem results in greater customer satisfaction than getting it right the first time. In other words, a complaining customer will be very happy if you acknowledge their issue and fix it.

Being generous in this context can be as simple as offering a refund, future discount, or some sort of free service. One $10 gift card to make up for a bad experience could result in a lifetime of patronage from the assuaged customer. It’s clearly worth the short term expense.

In the best case scenario, the customer will update their review to inform other shoppers about the gift. The review might change to five stars and say “At first I wasn’t happy with this service, but then they took care of the problem and gave me a discount on my next purchase. I love this company!”

Keep Your Word

If you succeed at getting a second chance to make a customer happy, be sure to keep your word. This is your last opportunity to fix the problem. The worst case scenario would be to say you will fix the situation, and then not to fix it. Take care of the issue as soon as possible.

It’s best to follow up with the customer within 48 hours of the problem being solved. Send an email or make a phone call to ask if they’ve been taken care of. In the worst case, if you are unable to satisfy the customer, you will at least be able to hear their complaints one last time. If the customer seems to be rude and cantankerous, it may have been out of your hands to begin with.


When all’s said and done, you can do a lot to mitigate a bad review. If you respond to the complaint in a timely manner, generously solve the problem, and follow up to make sure you’ve kept your word, you will convert many angry reviewers into happy customers. At the very least, other customers will see that you tried to make things right.

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