5 Steps to Turn a Negative Local Review Into a Positive for Your Business

Mar 03, 2022

Turn Negative Reviews into Wins for Your Business

Online reviews are an important part of local business marketing these days. In our annual survey, Moms Online and Looking for You, moms repeatedly share just how much online reviews influence their decisions when evaluating local businesses for their kids. 

So when you see a negative review pop up on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or some other platform, it can feel devastating. 

Luckily there are some steps you can take to turn that negative review into a net positive for your business. 


Moms want you to respond publicly to those negative reviews. In fact, the majority of moms surveyed said they wanted local businesses to respond to those negative reviews online. 

It's an important step to showing the community that you are active online and listening and that you care about the experiences others have at your business.


Start your response with gratitude. That includes an appreciation for them taking the time to post about your business and to stop by in the first place.

Most negative reviews have a hint of good things in them. Use those as a way to start your reply on a positive note.


Own the problem, whatever it is.  We all have bad days and acknowledging that you could do better shows your honesty and desire to improve. 

These are traits that moms (and others) appreciate and they will reflect positively on your business.


Don't get caught in the trap of copying and pasting responses to reviews. Use the reviewer's actual name if available and always sign it with your name.

Never hide behind the name of your business. Show the customer and everyone else reading, that you're a real person, that you're concerned about customer experiences at your business, and that you care.


Not every problem is solvable but attempting to provide a solution shows your willingness to work hard and create a positive experience for every customer. 

This doesn't mean giving everyone a freebie or discount. It could mean you clarify the steps you are taking based on their experience.

Demonstrate that their feedback is valuable and you've taken actionable steps to improve. 

Having a plan in place to deal with negative reviews when they happen reduces stress for you and your team. 

And the good news is that most moms surveyed understand that negative reviews happen and they don't automatically see them as a red flag for your business.  Moms take your responses and other reviews into consideration before making decisions. 

You have the power to turn that negative review into a demonstration of your attitude and the amazing things happening at your business. 

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