How to Respond to Negative Reviews

// Jenelle Paris

When you put your all into your lash extension business, a negative review can be surprising, infuriating, and disappointing. Sometimes the review doesn't seem to paint an accurate picture of the situation. Other times, it's totally warranted, but you have no idea how the situation happened in the first place. Every word of a review is a direct reflection of your business to those online, whether you want it to be or not. 

People leave negative reviews and social media comments for all types of reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • They want an apology from the owner.    
  • They want to save other customers from a bad experience.    
  • They want honesty and transparency in policies.    
  • They want a refund or salon credit.    

Compared to happy clients, unhappy customers are much more likely to leave a review. It may have been the attitude of a lash artist, or the quality of the lash extensions, or the state of your salon or pricing structure that inspired a comment. Even when you're mostly doing everything amazingly at your salon, negative feedback is likely to pop up online at some point. 

If you see a negative review or social media comment, take a deep breath, pause, and reflect. Use these tips for dealing with negative feedback. You might be able to turn the customer experience around. Even better, you may be able to get the poster to edit or remove their review after you've wowed them. Here's how.

You Just Received a Negative Review: How to Respond 

Negative reviews can pop up on review sites like Yelp, Google My Business, or even your Facebook business page. When a user is searching for a “lash studio” or similar business, your profile might appear — along with all the reviews you've received. 

Negative reviews can actually be good for your business. An analysis of more than 1.3 million local business reviews found the top results are influenced by both quality and quantity. And customers interact more with pages with negative results and trust the reviews more. So when you're getting any type of review, it can work in your favor, especially in terms of search results. 

If you see a negative review for your business, look at it as an opportunity to gain a new loyal customer. That's right: turn that client's frown upside-down! Make them fall in love with your business. A study found that businesses that respond to reviews get more reviews and have higher ratings.

To improve how you deal with negative online reviews, try this:

  • Respond to every review. You should acknowledge the good reviews with a thank you. With the bad reviews, you should also thank the reviewer publicly, where they left the review online, for the feedback. Let them know you're listening and that you're investigating the situation.    
  • Ask for an offline conversation. You'll want to get more details on what caused this bad review. But you don't want to have lengthy back-and-forth conversations on a review site. Ask the reviewer to email or call you personally so you can have a chat.    
  • Investigate. Talk to the staff members involved in the situation mentioned in the review. Get their side of the story, so you can better explain to the client what happened.    
  • Repair. If you get the chance to speak with the reviewer, let them know again you appreciate their feedback. Give them context to what caused the problem. Explain what you are doing to prevent this problem from happening again. Offer them a free opportunity to give your business another chance. Make sure your staff has the proper knowledge and training in place to avoid making the same mistake.

There may be times when a review is completely false or when a client is just looking for a freebie. This is much rarer than real clients leaving real reviews. But if it does happen, make sure you have completed proper consultations and paperwork. 

Document everything in the service from start to finish. If you encounter a false review, you can notify the review website, which can then investigate and potentially remove the false review.

You Just Saw an Upsetting Social Media Comment: How to Respond 

A negative social media comment is one not posted on a specific review page. Rather, it can be a comment:

  • On a brand post or page    
  • On a personal page    
  • In response to a comment     

Your clients use social media as a way to gain brand attention and a response. More than 40 percent of consumers think they should hear from the business within one hour after commenting on social media. You should respond:

  • Respectfully    
  • Succinctly    
  • Apologetically

Treat social media as a customer service channel. That's what your clients expect it to be. Again, offer to take the conversation offline. Take their feedback seriously, and offer a form of compensation to the social media poster.

Keep in mind that there may be people who are posting totally inaccurate or offensive comments about your brand. You can delete those off your page, ban the user from interacting with your page, and contact the social network about the user.

Treat Online Interactions as You Would In-Person Interactions 

Online review sites and social media sites are places clients turn to when they need to vent or complain about something about your business. These are valuable customer service channels for your brand. Take comments seriously, respond appropriately, and use them to constantly improve your business. 

All businesses get negative reviews or social media comments at some point. It's how you respond that matters. Learn more about building a social media and online presence that will help you grow your business.


Jenelle Paris
Founder | Boston Girl | Pig + Dog Obsessed | Lover of House Music


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