What to do if you have a negative review online


Authored by Aviva

When was the last time you checked your online reviews to see what people are saying about your business? If it’s been a while, you may be surprised by what’s written there (hopefully in a good way).

But whatever the comment made, positive or negative, it’s important that you respond, and respond quickly. As it’s well-known and free to use, Google Reviews is something we take a look at as part of our annual Digital Aptitude benchmarking report.

Too often we find Google reviews are left unattended, so here are some top tips to help you avoid the common missed opportunities:

1.      Set up account alerts

  • We frequently find brokers aren’t aware of what’s being said, either because alerts haven’t been set up to let them know when a review has been left, or (if using Google Reviews) the person who originally set up their Google Business Profile has left the company.
  • By getting a process in place to be alerted to new reviews, you can make sure you’re able to respond to them quickly going forward.

2.      Responding to a positive review

  • Replying to a positive review is a great way to acknowledge your gratitude and to build ongoing customer loyalty. A public response could also be the difference between a prospective client finding you online and choosing whether they want to do business with you. 
  • When replying, keep in mind that your response will be published for anyone to read, so keep it concise, thankful and single-minded. Prospects who see the exchange could even be impressed enough to want to get in touch, attracted to the potential of having the same positive relationship.

3.      Responding to a negative review

  • The most effective way to handle a negative review is to respond immediately and professionally. This shows anyone reading it that you have a robust customer-centric culture; a genuine apology can also go a long way in changing any negative perceptions from potential customers reading the review.
  • The key thing is to avoid getting into a public debate - look to continue the conversation privately. Here’s some more guidance on how to do this.
  • If you’re concerned the review isn’t genuine, then look into reporting it in your review platform. For Google Reviews, this can be managed through your Google Business Profile account.

4.      Good reviews are certainly worth encouraging

  • Positive reviews build credibility, boost search engine ranking and help you to stand out from your competitors, so they're absolutelyworth having.
  • If you’ve got some negative reviews that you’re unable to resolve or have removed, getting more recent positive reviews from your clients is one way of pushing the negative reviews down the page and getting your average star rating back up.

To encourage more of your client advocates to give you a review, it may be helpful to download our ‘request a Google review’ template from Broker Create. Be proactive by following up after a positive customer experience e.g. after renewal, new policy purchase or positive claim to capture your client’s feedback while it’s fresh in their mind.

You may be surprised by how many clients are happy to respond, and even pleased to be asked for their feedback. So why not start today and see the impact you can have on your online presence?


About Aviva

Aviva Insurance Limited is one of the UK’s leading insurance companies, part of the Aviva group with 34 million customers Worldwide. Aviva Insurance has been in the insurance business for more than 300 years.

In UK commercial, the insurance market remains challenging for insurance brokers and customers, due to the ongoing economic conditions. Aviva Insurance are focusing on improving our processes to ensure Aviva provide commercial customers with insurance cover at an acceptable price. Insurance brokers also recognised our excellent customer service by voting us Insurance Times General Insurer of the Year in 2012, for the second year running. youTalk-insurance sharing Aviva insurance news and video.

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