How to ask someone to change a bad review

So you got a bad review, but what can you do about it? One of the things that you can do is to ask the person who wrote it to change it. This needs to be handled carefully, but when done right, you can turn an unhappy customer into a company advocate. However, before you ask someone to change their review, there are a few things you must do first.

The most important thing you must do is to read the review and truly try to understand the customer’s point of view. While they might not be correct about a policy you may have or may have misunderstood an advertisement that seemed quite clear, you will gain no favor from them by pointing that out. Once you have tried to understand them, try to also understand their motivation… do they just want to vent, or are they looking for you to try to help them in some way, or perhaps they are trying to educate you about something.

Now it’s time to reply. You want your reply to include three things. First, let them know that you are aware of their concern and that you empathize with them. Next, let them know you are working to fix the problem (to whatever extent that is possible – you do not need to fix things that are truly not your fault). Finally, you want to let them know that you are taking steps to make sure that this never happens again.

When you think you have the problem resolved, ask them something like this:

I want to make sure you are satisfied. Is there anything else I can do to make things right?

Most people never expect to even hear from you, let alone to have you go out of your way to resolve their concern. In fact, people are so surprised when this happens that it is not uncommon for them to go from being a company detractor to a company advocate. So now that you have resolved their concern, it’s time to ask them to change their review. So how should you phrase it? Put it in your own words, but something similar to this:

I’m sorry we didn’t provide you with a good experience with us. We work hard to, but sometimes we fail and when we do, we admit it. I want you to know that I appreciate you giving us an opportunity to make things right. Your first review describing our mistake was completely fair. Would you be willing to share an update now that we’ve resolved things?


You’ve been good to us and we do appreciate that.


Manager Name


PS – No worries if you can’t.

Some people will never forgive you no matter what you do. But try this approach, and you may discover that some of the seemingly most unsatisfied people write a stellar update and change your rating from a 1 star to a 5 star.

One Comment

  1. Fred-Reply
    February 16, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Good advice.

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