Why is it necessary to understand how to respond constructively to negative email feedback? A satisfied consumer recommends five of his or her friends. At least 15 persons are alerted by an angry one. It’s much worse if they leave a one-star review that everyone may see. It has the potential to reach hundreds of individuals via the internet. You can do one thing to ensure that unpleasant public and private comment is limited to a bare minimum. You must address every negative review. In this article, we’re going to take a look at strategies you can use to help you reply to negative feedback.

How to gather customer feedback

Scanning social media for comments on your company might be scary, especially if the feedback isn’t that great. By getting feedback on your own, you can keep track of how well your company is performing. This will ensure that many bad reviews do not emerge on the internet in the first place. But what happens if some testimonials slip by publicly or you start receiving them in your support inbox?

There are many strategies of gathering customer feedback. You can check out our guide for it.

One of the optimal strategies is to send them a link to a form. They can fill it out whenever is most convenient for them. It may also reveal whether an issue with your website or internal procedures exists.

Focus on resolving a negative feedback email early on, and utilize a range of customer satisfaction indicators to reduce the amount of negative public comments you receive.

Manager gathering feedback
Manager gathering feedback

How can negative reviews hurt your business

Negative testimonials you receive online are difficult to come by. As though someone was personally attacking you, you get enraged, defensive, and irritated. That’s because you’ve put so much effort into your business. One loud and rude rating may quickly deflate all those meetings, early mornings and late evenings.

On the downside, negative testimonials have serious consequences:

  • only 13% of consumers will consider a business with 1 or 2 stars
  • more than four negative testimonials on a company or product might result in a 70% reduction in revenue
  • small companies that have a Google ranking of 1–1.5 make 33% less money than the average company

It’s no surprise that getting defensive is the first thing that comes into our minds.

However, there is still some good news: negative testimonials do not always have harmful outcomes. They may sometimes give your brand a sense of authenticity. And when you think about it a bit, this makes a lot of sense.

If all of your testimonials are positive, it appears that you are trying to deceive your customers. People are inclined to trust your brand more when a few reasonably bad reviews slip in there. Many consumers are more likely to trust a product or service if it has a few negative evaluations. Furthermore, studies suggest that some unfavorable reviews might boost conversions.

It doesn’t matter what your testimonial says. What matters most is how you acknowledge and respond. So let’s take a look at some strategies for gaining rather than losing customers.

Steps to take when receiving a bad review

So how to reply to a negative feedback email? Perhaps some reviewers simply dislike your company. It may be the cost, the taste, or a bad experience they’ve had with you. Even if they appreciated the goods or services, some customers would hold grudges towards a company.

There’s not much you can do to influence such folks to change their minds. The good news is that you are not obligated to do it. Instead of altering unfavorable reviews, respond with grace, apologize, and work on earning more favorable ones.

To put it into perspective, being a company that has negative reviews and addresses them in optimal time looks better than a company that deletes negative testimonials and doesn’t take the time to manage them properly.

Person replying to email
Person replying to email

Don’t jump straight in to reply but don’t take too long either

How to respond to negative feedback email might be easier than you think but critical feedback can elicit a variety of responses. Punching a wall, accusing others of fabricating feedback, and weeping so violently that they had to reschedule meetings are just a few of the more memorable answers.

All of these emotions are entirely natural and normal. Set aside 5 minutes as soon as you become aware of an unfavorable testimonial. If you wait for too long, your subsequent apologies will appear genuine. Customers can observe how long it takes you to respond to them because most internet reviews are date stamped, especially emails.

Don’t take the negative email review too personally

A negative feedback email might feel personal. In some ways, it is a personal attack, especially when you run the business. A poor testimonial might have severe ramifications for your company’s performance.

What can you do instead? Turn a poor review into a chance to show off your individuality to your audience. Allow them to experience your compassion and empathy as a result of your reaction. You can be the most caring person in the world or a philanthropist. You can be all the good things packed into one person. The customers don’t know and probably never will. They only care if they received the product or service you promised to deliver.

Gather more information

It might not be obvious to discover that others do not always perceive ourselves in the same light as we do. For example, you can have a boss who has suffered from emotions of insecurity throughout his or her career. The rest of the coworkers may see him or her as pushy and arrogant during meetings. The boss might never be aware of this and wonder why people aren’t happy being around him or her.

We won’t be able to act on testimonials unless we fully comprehend them. It’s often a good idea to ask a few reliable sources whether they’ve experienced the same thing, especially when we learn anything new. Digging for information gives us a clue about what we’re doing to make a specific impression. Still, it also prevents us from overcorrecting based on the opinion of a single individual. To quote the famous Marcus Aurelius, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Manager replying to negative feedback emails
Manager replying to emails

Address the customers by their name

The reality is that every time someone writes about your product or service, they are expressing their passionate feelings about your company. That applies to both good and negative feedback. Simply getting others to speak about you is one of the marketing aims. So, even if someone says something unpleasant, thank them for taking the time to say it. This accomplishes several goals:

  • it can instantly dispel the negative energy
  • allows your reviewer to feel heard and appreciated
  • it demonstrates to other readers that you are not a petty person and you can take criticism

You can start your answer to a lousy testimonial with a modest remark. Something in the lines of “Hey [NAME], thanks so much for taking the time to write.

It’s just a small psychological trick, and you may think there’s no reason to do it. You can begin your response with a brief greeting or a “Dear Sir or Madam,” but it won’t have the same impact as addressing a person by their name.

Unless you’re conducting anonymous surveys, the person’s identity is not hidden in the review. Thus it wouldn’t take much work to actually find it. By saying their name and addressing the points in the comments, you demonstrate that this isn’t an automated answer and that they’re speaking with someone who can help them solve their problem.

If you can fix the problem they’re having with your company, the reviewer is more than happy to help, especially if you initiate contact with a kind and personable tone.

Keep it short within the email

When we receive a negative review, it might feel as though it is a personal attack. We panic. Our fingertips quiver. We feel compelled to respond in kind. However, rambling on and on in reaction to a bad review is the last thing your company’s image needs. Why may you ask? Here are a few reasons why you should try to keep it short and on point:

  • the majority of people will just disregard lengthy answers
  • longer responses might seen as frantic or aggressive
  • there is no need for detailed explanations

The bottom line is that your client is dissatisfied. If it was your fault, apologize sincerely. If it isn’t, express sympathy and see how you can help regardless.

In either scenario, you should not use a long answer to substantiate the negative feedback. Respond gracefully with the advice we’ve previously given. Here’s a demonstration of the power of a simple negative review email you can send back:

Hey [Name],
Sorry to hear that your
steak wasn’t up to par. We strive to make the best steak in town. To make up for it, we’d like to offer you a free steak and salad with your next order. Hope to see you back soon!
Have a lovely day,

Customer support helping clients
Customer support helping clients

Being empathic and apologetic goes a long way

You may believe that this client has no knowledge of the company and is unfit to provide feedback. You may think they were in a terrible mood and that you couldn’t do anything to help. They could also be a rival rather than an actual reviewer. In any case, you must apologize to them to gain their attention and you must have that negative email empathy at all costs.

When someone writes you a negative feedback email about your business or product, your natural reaction is to defend yourself. And such emotions are perfectly normal! It’s sincere, and it’s something that everyone does. But it’s not the best way to handle this kind of situation.

What you can do is try to put yourself in the position of your consumer. They were enraged enough to write about it, and it’s up to you to find out why. Most of the time, the negativity may be attributed to someone having a bad day and needing to vent.

Remind yourself that the review’s author is a real person with real problems behind the screen. Perhaps they are facing difficulties at home or work. Maybe they’ve been up all week because their child has been sick, and now they’re just hoping to make it through the week. In this case, writing a negative feedback email is pretty easy on their end.

Empathize with the author and visualize yourself on your worst day while you reply to that email. This makes it easier to sympathize with them, and you can avoid being too defensive or upset over the situation. It can also portray you as a professional that cares about what people are saying.

Sympathize with the customer

You don’t have to agree with the consumer to understand their displeasure, just as you didn’t have to agree with them in the last tip. Put yourself in their position. You anticipate excellent service, yet it falls well short of your expectations. It has the power to derail your day and turn you into a grumpy person. This is why you should sympathize with someone who sent you a negative email. To continue with the conversation, make sure you tell them you understand their feelings.

If your business has crushed someone’s day, they may write a negative review out of frustration. A furious person expects nothing less than words of sympathy. They could be more ready to comprehend you if they hear them.

Manager replying to negative feedback email
Manager replying to emails

Tell them you’re working on it

It could be that there was an issue with your business. Your customer support representative was impolite, the shipping took longer than expected, or the merchandise arrived damaged, or maybe someone lost it in the process. There are many reasons why you might receive a negative feedback email. Instead of contacting customer service, the client wrote an angry email.

You must assist the reviewer in these situations. Taking the problem to your customer service department, on the other hand, may not be enough. Now that you are aware of the testimonial, you must provide your response as well. If your staff helped the customer, the happy individual might spread the information to other people. A potential client can learn that you care about your users and can resolve issues if they arise. Future negative testimonials will be minimized, and people will understand that you are doing your best to solve all the problems in time.

Offer compensation straight to their inbox

Offering compensation is a step that is optional but strongly recommended, even though various marketers have opposing viewpoints on this subject.

The strategy to improve a reviewer’s opinion of your company is to ask for a second opportunity. If the difficulty they’ve experienced is unusual, offer the client a present to entice them back for a second chance.

Depending on the organization, the compensation may take the form of a discount or free shipment. However, the issue they were complaining about might be a common one. Your main goal would be to fix the problem before asking people to come back. Requesting them to come back before you solve the issues may be counterproductive.

Customers who provide a negative comment might also benefit from a discount, a special offer, or a refund. It’s also an excellent method to get ready to ask for a positive testimonial once you fixed the situation.

Incoming negative feedback emails
Incoming emails

Some marketers are afraid that you would teach your clients to submit negative reviews to receive free merchandise. This sets a bad example, and people might take advantage of your company. While we believe there is somehow a bit of truth to the latter option, we think it is a bit stretched. If you’re drawing clients like that, you’re pulling the incorrect leads in the first place.

Instead, we choose to believe that the majority of clients are truthful and have an open heart. If customers have a negative encounter with your company, a slight discount or coupon might go a long way toward recovering a loyal consumer who can help you spread the news. You can email the discount code directly within your apology note.

Ask the customer to change the review if possible

So you received a nasty email, you replied with an apology, you tried helping the customer and may even succeed. What to do now?

A great idea is to ask for another testimonial after the customer is happy. Witnessing someone transition from being upset enough to write a negative testimonial to give a great one says a lot about your company’s ideals.

Other readers can see how seriously you take customer service and how much you care about making them happy. A testimonial from someone who has previously published a negative review is likely to be one of your most effective lead generation strategies.

Did you resolve the issue that the reviewer had? Did they return for a discount and rave about your company? It’s time to request a modification in the review. You don’ have to bring it up in front of others and don’t be too aggressive. If a person likes your business after giving it another try, they will be willing to do it independently. After all, it’s ok if they don’t update it. Nobody has perfect reviews, and that makes your company genuine.

Customer sending negative feedback email
Customer sending email

Keep it in private

If you follow all of our tips, you should be able to soothe even the angriest customer. But, as some people say, “you can’t please everyone.”

While you should reply to unfavorable reviews publicly on the site where the customers addressed it, you should also continue the dialogue on your terms. Move the conversation to a more private location, whether it’s over email, the phone, video chat, or direct messaging on your preferred social networking site.

If the conversation is via email initially, it would be wise to just keep the negative feedback email private. The customer feels safe if the conversation doesn’t get leaked or distributed on your testimonial page without the required permission.


Feedback from customers is precious. Keep in mind that your reputation is primarily established by what consumers are saying about your company on social media, online review sites, and other platforms in this day and age. You may improve your brand’s reputation, get to know your consumers better, raise their involvement and loyalty, and even generate financial outcomes by reacting to a negative testimonial.