Online Reputation

The Do’s and Don’ts for Handling Negative Feedback Online 


Responding to negative feedback online can be an intimidating experience for many businesses, making it crucial for companies to understand the dos and don’ts of handling negative feedback. It is essential to respond promptly, professionally and thoughtfully when confronted with criticism online.


1. Acknowledge the feedback:

Acknowledging the customer’s feedback is an important first step. Showing that you have heard their opinion and are taking it into consideration can go a long way in diffusing a tense situation.

2. Apologize sincerely:

An apology isn’t just about saying “I’m sorry”—it’s about taking ownership of the mistake and accepting responsibility for it.

3. Offer a solution:

Once you’ve apologized, take steps to address the issue by offering a solution or resolution to resolve their problem.

4. Address all public complaints personally:

It is essential to respond publicly to any negative feedback posted on social media or other online platforms, as this shows that your business takes customers comments seriously.

5. Listen to feedback:

Make sure you are actively listening to customer’s feedback and use it as an opportunity to learn how to better serve your customers in the future.

6. Show gratitude for positive comments:

It’s important to show appreciation for any positive comments or reviews from customers, as it can help build loyalty and trust within the community.

7. Be proactive about responding:

Respond promptly so that customers feel like they have been heard and their complaints addressed in a timely manner.

8. Remain polite and professional:

No matter the situation, always remain polite and professional when responding online—avoid getting into arguments or escalating the issue further.

9. Take it offline if necessary:

If the issue is too complex to be resolved online, offer to take it offline and speak to the customer directly.

10. Learn from negative feedback:

Use any negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve your business and customer service.


1. Ignore complaints or delete negative feedback:

Ignoring complaints or deleting negative feedback is not a good way to handle criticism. Instead, it’s important to address the issue and offer a solution.

2. Take it personally:

It can be difficult not to take criticism personally, but try your best to remain professional and focus on resolving the issue at hand.

3. Point fingers or blame the customer:

Never point the finger at a customer or blame them for an issue—this will only make matters worse.

4. Respond too quickly without understanding the full situation:

Take a moment to assess the situation and understand what has happened before responding.

5. Make excuses or provide false information:

Never make excuses or provide false information when responding to customer complaints.

6. Get into heated debates or arguments online:

Getting into a debate with a customer can quickly escalate an issue and damage your reputation, so it’s best to avoid this at all costs.

7. Take the conversation off-topic:

Stay focused on resolving the issue at hand and tries not to take the conversation off-topic.

8. Post generic responses:

It is important to respond personally and thoughtfully to each complaint—posting generic responses does not show that you are taking customers seriously.

9. Promise what you can’t deliver:

Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. This can create even more frustration if the customer doesn’t receive what they were promised.

10. Refuse to admit mistakes:

Admitting mistakes are essential in resolving customer complaints, so be sure to take ownership of any mistake and apologize sincerely.


Customer service is a key component of running any successful business. It’s important to be proactive about responding to customer complaints and always remain polite, professional, and understanding. Apologize sincerely when mistakes are made and take the necessary steps to address the issue quickly—this will go a long way in diffusing a tense situation. Show gratitude for positive comments, listen to feedback, and use it as an opportunity to learn how you can better serve your customers in the future. Above all else, never ignore or delete negative feedback—instead use this as an opportunity to learn and improve your services. By following these steps, you can ensure that customer complaints are handled efficiently and effectively every time.