How to Respond to a Negative or Bad Review on Facebook

Positive reviews on social media build trust in small businesses and help attract potential customers. In fact, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend. That’s why getting customer reviews from your happy patrons is vital.

But inevitably, someone may leave negative feedback on your Facebook Business Page, and it’s crucial to understand how to respond appropriately so you can protect your online reputation. Negative reviews may harm your rating, but they can be an opportunity to show your business is adept at resolving issues. Here’s what you need to know.

Should you respond to negative Facebook reviews?

Yes. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that responding to online customer feedback leads to improved business ratings. Research also shows that when businesses reply to negative reviews online, it enhances potential customers’ perception of the company’s trustworthiness and empathy for its customers.

Furthermore, a consumer review survey found that 89% of consumers are fairly or highly likely to use a company that replies to every review. That’s why monitoring your Facebook Business Page and staying on top of review management is critical.

The only time you should not respond to a review is if it was a personal attack threatening your safety. If that occurs, notify your local authorities and keep yourself safe.

How do I respond to a negative post on Facebook?

  • Respond promptly: The quicker your business can reply, the more attentive and concerned it will appear. Think hours, not days.
  • Thank the customer for their review: Let them know you appreciate their feedback and take their experience seriously.
  • Apologize for the negative experience: Genuinely and sincerely let the unhappy customer know you regret their bad experience. Avoid getting emotional or confrontational.
  • Offer a resolution or compensation: Find a way to make it right, whether that’s offering a refund, providing a discount, finishing an incomplete service or whatever is appropriate for the situation.
  • Avoid mentioning your business name: Never put your business name in your response, or the negative review response may come up in search results.
  • Continue the discussion offline: Avoid asking for more information in the comments since it can cause more negative feedback and risk confrontation. Instead, invite the customer to discuss the issue in a private message, by phone or in person.
  • Reach out when the issue is resolved: Once you’ve resolved the issue, reach out by email or phone to let the customer know it’s been fixed and kindly ask them if they might consider updating their negative comment. If you go above and beyond in resolving their problem, they may even leave positive feedback.

Examples of responses to bad Facebook reviews

Responding to negative online reviews is a marketing strategy that helps businesses gain the trust of future customers, but only if the reply is well-executed. The following review response examples illustrate the points above.

Example 1: After a cleaning service, Susan is upset that her refrigerator and the inside of her cabinets were not cleaned. She leaves a negative Facebook review describing the inadequacy of your team. However, refrigerator and cabinet cleaning were not included in the service package Susan chose for her home.

Example Response: “Hi, Susan! Thank you for taking the time to share your review. As a small business, your feedback is very important to us. We are sorry to hear you had a negative experience with your home cleaning. It sounds like the package you selected didn’t include all the services you were expecting. We’re sorry this wasn’t clear, and our team is already working on improving our package descriptions. If you’d like to schedule refrigerator and cabinet cleaning for a later date, we can offer these services at a discount. Our team will contact you directly to discuss.”

Example 2: Mike receives a quote from your business for mobile car detailing and feels the price is too high. He goes with another company and leaves a negative review on Facebook, stating that the services your business provides are a ripoff.

Example Response: “Hi, Mike! We appreciate you taking the time to leave a review, and we take your feedback very seriously. We’re sorry to hear the price you were quoted was higher than you expected. Because our car detailing services include an exterior spray wax and tire shine, our service is priced accordingly. We also use 100% natural cleaning products. We offer a price match for equivalent service. If you’d like to schedule service for your vehicle or discuss this issue further, please contact us by email or phone.”

Can I remove bad reviews from my Facebook page?

Fake reviews or reviews that violate Facebook’s community standards can be flagged for removal. These include reviews with offensive or inappropriate content. Here’s how to remove a bad review from Facebook:

  1. Comment on the review as if it is authentic and appropriate
  2. Click the arrow by the top right of the review
  3. Click “Report Post”
  4. Explain why you are flagging the review based on Facebook’s guidelines
  5. Wait for the team at Facebook to respond manually

Facebook only lets you flag a review with at least one comment, so you’ll need to respond, even if it is not an authentic Facebook review about real customer experiences. A brief reply letting customers know you are handling the problem is typically all that’s needed in this case.

Once you report the post to Facebook for Business, it may take their team some time to evaluate your request.

Manage your Facebook reviews with Broadly

It’s challenging to keep track of all your Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Google reviews if you don’t have the right tools. But reputation management is a breeze with Broadly.

Our review management software allows you to respond to comments across review sites from one platform. You’ll also be able to automatically request reviews, so feedback from your loyal customers can bury any negative comments.

Broadly offers a full suite of tools for every aspect of your business, including website design, web chat, consolidated inbox and mobile payments. Managing the minutia of your small business has never been easier.

Schedule a demo today to discover how you can grow your business with Broadly.

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