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The ultimate guide to managing negative reviews

Negative reviews can do real damage to your brand — if they’re not handled properly. The right strategy can turn negative reviews into a positive for each one of your business locations. In this guide, we’ll break down a step-by-step method for dealing with negative reviews and share strategies to turn dissatisfied customers into loyal ones.

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In this guide, you’ll learn:

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  • The secret to turning negative reviews into wins (and 3 response templates to help you get started )
  • How to prevent fake reviews from damaging your reputation
  • How to ensure that you’re proactively reaching out to dissatisfied customers before they ever write a bad review
  • And much more!
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Interested? Here’s a Sneak Peek


Negative reviews can have a serious impact on your brand, your online reputation, and your customer acquisition. To understand why, let’s put ourselves through a hypothetical.

Imagine that you’re a homeowner looking to refinance your mortgage. You do a Google search to explore options in your area, and you see these results.

Which business would you choose?

If you’re like most customers, you’d pick the business location with the most reviews and the highest overall star rating. Customers generally tend to steer clear of businesses with too many negative reviews.

If you’re getting negative feedback on sites like Google and Facebook, there is a chance potential customers are turning away from your business locations before they even get in contact with your team. If you find yourself in this boat, don't panic. With the right tools and the right strategy, you’ll be able to improve your online reputation and turn negative reviews into wins for your brand.

In this guide, we’ll break down why customers leave negative reviews, best practices for tracking them across all your locations, and how to ensure your team has the processes in place to deal with them effectively.

1-star reviews are more common than you expect

Recently, we conducted a study on online reviews by analyzing data from our 60,000+ customers. We found that across industries, most reviews tend towards extremes.

In general, customers tend not to post neutral reviews. Instead, they post highly positive or highly negative reviews. That means that negative reviews don’t necessarily mean your customers hate your services. It’s just that emotions tend to be supercharged online.

Before we walk you through some easy-to-deploy changes to mitigate the impact of negative reviews, let’s discuss why customers write negative reviews in the first place.

Why do customers write negative reviews?

Let’s explore three of the most common reasons why customers leave negative reviews.

1) They want you to improve your customer experience

Some reviewers simply are disappointed with their experience and are looking to call your attention to how you can improve your operations. These reviews can help you better understand exactly where your company is falling short...

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