How to Turn Negative Customer Reviews Into Advantage?

Negative reviews are a nightmare for many business owners. But the truth is no matter how devoted you are in promoting a good customer experience, you’ll come across negative reviews in the end. It’s a fact for all businesses dealing with customers, you can’t please all the customers all the time. What is more important is how you handle bad reviews and the way you respond to them. Moreover, negative feedback is something that can help your business to grow and improve. Instead of being afraid of bad reviews, let’s see how to use them as a positive side for your business.

Always respond to negative feedback

When you receive a bad review, first of all, understand what the customer complains about and apologize for the negative experience. If it’s appropriate – offer a refund or exchange. Show that you care about each customer’s problem and resolve it with a public response. However, if the issue requires additional actions (for example, related to services), it’s best to resolve such complaints privately. Leave a phone number or an email so customers can contact you to resolve the problem offline.

Sometimes reviews can be unfair, but try to be polite and friendly to show potential customers you’re dedicated to providing excellent service.

Build trust using negative reviews

When a potential customer sees a bad review, he also checks the response from the business side. By interacting with the clients who left a negative review, it shows you’re being proactive about addressing problems, and it helps build trust.

Besides, this way, you demonstrate to potential clients you have nothing to hide and are ready to resolve issues if they exist. Plus, customers are inclined to trust businesses with positive and negative feedback, while only 5-star reviews look more fake and not credible. 

Use a reputation management platform

Indeed, you can’t control what reviewers write, but you can manage and control negative feedback using a reputation management platform. The system captures negative reviews and sends them to you privately to deal with them offline. Dealing with unhappy customers’ issues in-house before they get the chance to go public will help minimize the number of published negative reviews on Google, TripAdvisor, and other sites. Respond to bad reviews to make customers feel heard, and there is a big chance they will change their minds and leave you a positive review instead.

Improve your business 

Negative feedback can be unsettling at first, but how else would you understand the issues you have in the business processes? All successful businesses continuously improve, and bad reviews are a great way to identify what’s working and what’s not. If too many clients complain about the same thing, it’s worth looking into it and making improvements. So even if you don’t like receiving negative reviews, they’re still necessary and helpful. The more you listen to clients’ concerns, the more you will meet their expectations, and you will provide a much better experience.

So what to do about negative reviews? 

  1. The most important – do not ignore them. It’s okay to have some unhappy customers because you can’t always please every client. 
  2. Always respond to negative reviews. Show that you care about the issue and are ready to deal with it publicly. This way, you can even turn unhappy customers into loyal advocates.
  3. Use a reputation management platform to manage and keep track of your negative reviews. It helps to minimize the number of negative reviews on Google, TripAdvisor, and other sites. 
  4. Learn from your mistakes using bad reviews. Identify what’s not working for your clients and improve it.

5. Get more positive reviews. Usually, only unsatisfied clients are willing to leave a review. To keep the balance between negative and positive feedback, always ask your clients for reviews.

Five tips to improve the customer experience for restaurants

Five tips to improve the customer experience for restaurants

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  1. List on Google My Business
  2. Offer loyalty programs
  3. Collect reviews
  4. Learn from negative reviews
  5. Place your menu online

Tips to improve the customer experience for restaurants

The world pandemic is a challenging time for any business, including restaurants. In addition, the restaurant business has always been a competitive one. According to statistics, 6 out of 10 restaurants fail within the first year of operations. It requires innovation, creativity, and constant development of restaurant management, customer service, and more. 

In this guide, we will go through 5 tips to improve the customer experience for your restaurant. It will help you get more clients and increase the number of regular customers. 

1. Make sure you are listed on Google My Business

Google My Business lets you list your restaurant location on Google Maps and search results.

It has always been important because it’s the first thing your customers notice when they search for your business online.

If you are already listed on Google My Business, make sure the information is up-to-date and list your business on other sites like Facebook or Yelp so that customers know where they can find you and how they get in contact with you. Business listings are also a perfect way to increase local SEO and rank higher in search. This way, you will have better visibility in the neighborhood and outperform competitors.


Google My Business lets you list your restaurant location on Google Maps and search results. 

It has always been important because it’s the first thing your customers notice when they search for your business online.

If you are already listed on Google My Business, make sure the information is up-to-date and list your business on other sites like Facebook or Yelp so that customers know where they can find you and how they get in contact with you. Business listings are also a perfect way to increase local SEO and rank higher in search. This way, you will have better visibility in the neighborhood and outperform competitors. 

customer experience

Offer customer loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs are the best retention tool. Because rewarding clients with bonuses and points lets them know that you value them, it is also an effective way to increase customer purchase frequency which means more loyal customers for your restaurant. Unlike one-time coupons, loyalty programs inspire many repeat visits. Besides, clients will spread the word about your restaurant, and more people will come to have lunch in your place. Statistics prove the importance of loyalty programs – 75% of customers say they would switch brands for a better loyalty program.

Collect reviews 

Trust reviews from customers are the basis of an online presence. The more quality reviews you get, the more trustworthiness you see from Google. If you don’t have enough positive reviews from clients – ask them! When a client leaves your restaurant after a delicious meal – send him a message or an email asking if he’d like to leave a review on Google or Facebook. To automate review requests, use a reputation management platform. It will do all the work for you, so you don’t have to send a review request to each client and spend precious time. Instead, use this time to work on other business processes.

positive reviews

Make the most from negative reviews

Negative reviews are not as bad as we think they are. In fact, there are plenty of positive sides. Did you know that 95% of unhappy customers return if the issue was resolved? Negative feedback is something that helps your business to improve. Without negative reviews, you’d never hear from dissatisfied customers and would never be able to understand and correct a mistake. You can always try to solve the customer’s problem and find a solution to make him happy. Timing is essential in handling negative reviews. Try to be as fast as possible to save a damaged customer relationship. For convenient managing negative reviews, use a reputation management platform. It helps you manage all negative feedback by capturing and sending them to you privately, allowing you to deal with them offline.

Place your menu online

Since most people use the Internet to research before choosing a place to dine out – an online menu becomes a crucial thing. Without a searchable menu, you take a risk of being unnoticed by potential customers. Add your restaurant’s menu to Google My Business so that your potential clients can easily find it.


Improving customer engagement is №1 thing to grow your business. Make sure your restaurant information and menu are listed on sites where people are searching for food. Always ask for accurate feedback and manage negative reviews. Think of possible loyalty programs to increase the percentage of returning clients. A constant work on these few points will bring your restaurant to the next level of restaurant experience.Ma

The Best Way To Deal With Negative Reviews

How to Deal With Negative Reviews

Many companies and business owners fear to respond to negative reviews because it is a digital confrontation – opening a can of worms that will lead into the rabbit hole. Bad reviews should not cause anxiety but should be a moment of opportunity to improve your brand and customer service. So, how should you respond to them?

Reviews left online can either boost your business or lead to your eventual downfall. Increasing your online rating by one-star has been shown to boost your business by up to 10%, whereas one really bad negative review can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. (See our blog about Fake Reviews Killing Small Businesses).

Negative reviews are crucial, which is why you have to know how to use them to your advantage.

But before you go shelling out extra cash for someone to handle your online presence for you, remember the golden rule of business.

“The customer is always right.”

You should approach reviews with the goal of giving the best possible customer experience even when they’re angry. It keeps reviews from becoming the bane of your existence and shows how dedicated you are to delivering a consistent level of excellence.

1. First assess and evaluate the feedback internally.

Consult With Your Team

– Have a logical procedure in place before clicking reply –

You’re better off assessing the situation instead of immediately responding to a bad review. Customers have a lot of power online, and if you react to a negative review without thinking it through, you will fuel your angry customer.

Geoff Toff says that “if they’re angry enough (however unfairly) and care enough about getting the reaction they want from you (however petty that might be), they can spread negativity all over your reputation online, and people will probably believe it until they see a reason to think otherwise.” Do not get emotional when it’s your turn to respond to a bad review — have a logical procedure in place before clicking “reply”.

2. Publicly respond to the review.

Publicly reply to your negative reviews.

This means, don’t hide and privately reach out to your customer, but respond to them on the platform that they posted the review (privately responding alongside a public response is good as well). Whether they left you a bad review on Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor, do not avoid digital confrontation. Responding publicly to bad reviews shows your customers and potential customers that you care and are attentive.

Why should you care that you’re attentive? – Because it can lead to increased business.

A study done by Cornell University revealed that responding to negative hotel reviews “appears positively related to the consumer’s view of the hotel, as measured by increases in the TripAdvisor score”.

3. Empathise and offer solutions.

Offer a Solution to Customer Complaint

You’re human just like anyone else, which means sometimes you’re going to mess up.

And unfortunately, missteps, mistakes, or mess-ups can lead to negative reviews.

If you just spent your time writing a fluffy response back to the customer apologising for their experience and you’ve really taken the time to not be impulsive, but did not provide some solution or actionable items to mitigate the issue, then you haven’t properly responded to a negative review. Make sure to offer to make it right by providing a solution.

Whether it’s providing your contact information and following up with the customer offline, you should display empathy and effort into solving the complaint.

Responding to negative reviews lets customers see how you handle a less-than-ideal situation.

 Statistically, people will read the negative reviews first. If things go wrong, they want to know what to plan for. Show you’re capable of continuing to deliver excellence even when things aren’t perfect.

4. Fix the issue

Fix The Customer Issue

Once you’ve apologised to the customer, keep your word and fix the issue.

Putting actions behind your words online helps the customer trust your company more. They’ll feel you’re transparent in your solutions and general business accountability, which can only build positive things for your reputation.

Publicly showing that you will always fix something that’s gone wrong for your customers to will strengthen their trust in your company. Building trust cuts down on the need for them to post reviews in the first place because they know if they contact your business directly they’ll be heard, and their issue will be addressed.

5. Follow up with the customer

Always Follow Up With The Customer

On most reviews platforms like Google Business Reviews, customers can edit or remove their reviews.

If you’ve apologised and corrected the issue, reach out to the customer to see if they will remove their review. 

Asking the customer to take down a negative review can also be a great moment for a follow-up. By checking in with the customer, you’ll nudge them toward removing the review from your site, and they’ll feel cared for. They may give you further feedback or even change the review to a positive one.

When you leave a negative review, you expect an outcome. What you want to see is for the business to own their mistake and then correct the issue. If that happens, and you are happy with the outcome most likely, you will amend the negative review. So when it’s time for you to be on the other side of the review process, try to remember what it’s like to be a customer.

6. Conclusion

What Matters Most When Responding to Negative Feedback

Now, this isn’t going to be the case for everyone, but that’s okay.

What matters is you’ve demonstrated to the customer, and anyone else reading the reviews, that you’re apologetic and dedicated to resolving mistakes as quickly and professionally as possible. If you make one customer feel heard and valued in the review section, then other customers will trust you to do the same for them.

Going forward, potential customers will see your positive attitude and consider you trustworthy—even if they haven’t engaged with your business yet.

That’s the power of a customer review. And that’s why it’s crucial that you stay on top of them. By including the review process as an extension of the customer service experience, you’ll handle it like a pro, and your customers will keep coming back—in real life and online.