Responding to negative feedback

Responding to negative feedback


The internet and social media have made it all too easy for customers to relay their feedback to businesses. This can be a great thing because it shows other customers or potential customers why they should choose your business.

However, this also means that if a customer has a negative experience, then their public feedback has the scope of preventing future customers. Hearing what these reviews have to say to implement change can benefit your business and responding sensitively to the reviews will help with damage control.

Follow these steps to construct an appropriate response:

  • Address the customer by name: Rather than using Sir/Madam, refer to the client by name so that they know their feedback is valued and not simply a scripted and automatic response.
  • Sympathise with the customer’s problem: Try to understand what happened from the perspective of the customer to find out why they might have had a bad experience. Apologising will also let the customer know that regardless of whether you agree with their review, you sympathise with their negative experience.
  • Let them know you are solving the problem: Acknowledge their problem and let them know that you will be addressing it. This will let future customers know that the negative review may no longer apply so that they are not immediately driven away.

Make sure you do not ignore negative reviews and feedback. Either the review is specific to the customer or they are making a valuable contribution towards how the business can be improved. In order to identify which it is, you should listen to what the customer has to say.

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If you believe the matters discussed above are relevant to your business, please contact Darren Smith of our office to discuss further.


Darren is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience, including working in the big 4 and medium sized firms before becoming a partner of a city based firm in 2000.

He has gained much experience and has extensive knowledge in providing business and taxation advice, superannuation planning, negotiation of sales and acquisitions of businesses and property development. His client base covers a wide range of industry groups.

Darren works with business owners to grow their businesses and create personal wealth within and outside of their business.


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