How to deal with a bad online review of your Startup

The Internet has given people all over the world the opportunity to express themselves. Today we see more reviews and opinions on everything, than ever before. People know that their opinion matters. Unfortunately, in many cases people will often speak their mind about something even though they might not have all the information needed in order to publish an accurate opinion.

This phenomenon is especially visible regarding reviews. Every day, more and more websites appear, that allow people to write reviews on products, services, companies and practically everything they want. Although everyone’s opinion matters, of course, reviews can be bad for companies. Especially startups.


Imagine having a startup company that is only now taking its first steps out in the open market. No matter how good your business plan might be, the real world is very different. You will notice that your customers expect more from you and your company. And they will be ‘’cruel” if they are not 100% satisfied with your services or products.

Although one or two negative reviews cannot really hurt a big company’s reputation, they are especially bad for a startup company. So if you do find negative reviews aimed at your startup, how will you deal with them? The answer is simple and it can be found bellow.

  • Be polite: You should not be aggressive towards the person writing the review. Even if you think that the review is not accurate at all. Let them know that you appreciate their opinion because it will help you and your business improvement.
  • Ask the right questions: In a polite manner, ask for more information on what happened and the customers were not satisfied with what they received from you. Again let them know that their opinion matters. That way the customers won’t only assist you, but will give your startup another try as well.
  • Pay attention to the details: There are certain cases in which people will give a negative review, simply because they can. Make sure that you will address the matter, based on potential false information you might find in the review.

For example: Dear customer, we appreciate your feedback and will work to improve our services. In your review you claim to have received negative comments from our employees when you visited our premises on Monday afternoon. However our store/business is not open for the public on Monday afternoons. Is there a possibility that this review was aimed for a different business?

Last but not least, remember one thing. Although a negative review, might seem like a catastrophe for a startup, it is most certainly not. With the right approach and the correct mindset everything can be fixed.

Make sure that you will stay calm and will not lose hope. Deal with the review and the reviewer in a polite manner and show them that your startup will improve based on their comments. That will create a sense of security and trust and will bring you back the customers you lost, due to a bad review.

Thodoris Alexandrou Business Development Manager

Thodoris is the Business Development Manager. He holds a MSc in Services Management from the Economics University of Athens with specialization in Business Consultancy. Having worked in different job positions in iED the past years, he has developed expertise in business counselling in SMEs, startups and unemployed, business reengineering, financial management and marketing strategies.

How to deal with a bad online review of your Startup


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