How to Respond to Facebook Reviews & Win Customers Over

Learn how to respond to Facebook reviews in a way that builds or repairs customer relationships and delights customers into returning again and again.

For many businesses in today’s market, Facebook is about building and managing a positive reputation. But, since you aren’t a giant ice cream sundae, you won’t be able to make everyone happy all the time. There will be negative Facebook reviews.

We’re going to teach you how to respond to Facebook reviews and recommendations – both negative and positive – so you have the tools to effectively reach out and win your customers over in the long-haul. Before you ask: yes, negative reviews can work in your favor.

Here are all the topics we’re going to cover in this guide on how to respond to Facebook reviews:

Managing Facebook Review Responses

Responding to Negative Facebook Reviews and Recommendations

Responding to Positive Facebook Reviews and Recommendations

Removing Facebook Reviews or Recommendations

Getting More Facebook Reviews and Recommendations

Managing Facebook Review Responses

Let’s dive into all the technical aspects of how to respond to Facebook reviews:

How to respond to Facebook reviews as your business

Anyone with a business page on Facebook also has a personal account, so sometimes when you go to respond to review, the response shows up as being from your personal account and not your business’ page.

This frustrating kink is fairly simple to fix. Here’s how to respond to Facebook reviews as your business:

1. Go to your business’ page.
2. Click “Reviews” or “Recommendations” on the left-hand sidebar:

3. Locate the review you want to respond to.
4. Hover over the dropdown icon directly beneath it to see who you are commenting as:

5. To change who you’re commenting as, click the dropdown and select your business’ page.

How to privately respond to a Facebook reviewer

Facebook allows you to continue conversations with your customers by responding via private message. This an excellent way to learn more about your customer’s experience and win them back over with your attention to service.

Here’s how to privately respond to a Facebook reviewer:

1. Head to your business’ Facebook page.
2. Click “Reviews” or “Recommendations” from the left-hand sidebar:

3. Locate the review you want to respond to privately.
4. Click on “Message” beneath it:

The best part of this feature is that Facebook notifies others that you are handling the review with a notice that says, “Page responded privately to this review.” This notice appears directly under the review and shows other customers that you haven’t just ignored the review.

Jump to our section on how to respond to negative Facebook reviews for insights on what to say when you send a private message.

Responding to Negative Facebook Reviews and Recommendations

You likely have more anxiety when it comes to responding to negative Facebook reviews than you do about the positive ones, and rightfully so. There’s a way you can impress customers – and a way you can make the situation worse – when responding to negative reviews. We’re going to teach you how to appropriately respond and even win customers over after they’ve had a negative experience.

Is it okay to ignore negative Facebook reviews or recommendations?

You may think that by avoiding negative Facebook reviews or recommendations, you avoid adding fuel to a fire – but you’re only making things worse.

Negative reviews that are left unresponded to raise red flags for consumers. To them, it seems like you don’t care about a poor customer experience, and that the quality of service you offer is low. Because so many consumers use Facebook to make purchasing decisions, you need to show up for them. It can be tough to admit your business was wrong, but if you do, you’ll earn respect for your honesty and more customers in the future.

How to respond to negative Facebook reviews or recommendations and win customers back

The first time you read a negative Facebook review or recommendation, you may feel defensive. After reading it a second time, you may see a little bit of truth in their critique. The third time you read it, you are likely in a better mindset to craft an authentic response focused on your brand values rather than fueled by emotion. This is the mindset you need to be in to win customers back over.

When you sit down to respond to a negative Facebook review or recommendation, remember that it is an opportunity. How your business handles negative reviews can either concern or impress future customers – use it wisely.

Here’s how to respond to negative Facebook reviews or recommendations:

  • Thank the customer for their honest feedback. Remember, they’ve handed you an opportunity to better your business.
  • Apologize to the customer. Most of the time, when a customer complains online, they just want to be heard. You can almost always diffuse a tough situation with a sincere apology.
  • Make an offer. Is there something you can do to repair the relationship between you and your customer? Try to make things right by offering something for their trouble. Take it a step further and make an even better impression by delivering more than what’s expected of you.
  • Take it offline. We cannot stress how important this is with Facebook reviews. Unlike Google or Yelp, Facebook reviews behave like posts, so you could end up arguing with a dissatisfied customer in the comments. Avoid this by including a phone number or email address they can contact to claim the offer you made, or by asking them to privately message you.

The key to delighting customers who have had negative experiences and winning them back is by doing more for them than expected. Own a restaurant? Refund the meal, and the valet parking cost. Take that extra step to not only make things right, but really serve your customer in a phenomenal way.

How to report a fake Facebook review

When you receive a string of negative reviews, either from competitors, former employees, or people referencing things other than an experience at your business, these are known as fake reviews.

Fake reviews aren’t pretty. They’ve been known to hurt businesses and cause some serious damage. If you suspect or recognize a fake Facebook review, it’s pretty simple to get it removed by Facebook.

Here’s how to report a fake Facebook review:

1. Head to your business’ Facebook page.
2. Click on the “Reviews” or “Recommendations” tab on the left-hand sidebar:

3. Locate the fake Facebook review you want to report.
4. Click on the exclamation point icon to the right of the review:

5. Select “Recommendation Not Relevant” if the posted review has nothing to do with an experience at your business, or “Unfair Recommendation” if you suspect it is from a competitor or former employee:

6. Click “Send.”

Facebook will review your report and decide whether to remove the review.

How to respond to a fake Facebook review (+ example)

Though you’ve already reported it, Facebook’s reviewing process can take several weeks. Even then, there’s no guarantee that Facebook will remove the bad review. In order to properly handle a fake review, we recommend you respond to let others browsing your reviews that you’re taking care of it.

Here’s how to respond to Facebook reviews you suspect, or know, are fake:

  • Be polite. Nothing will hurt your business more than making accusations in your Facebook review response, especially since it can turn into a commenting war.
  • Raise questions regarding their false comments. Politely question the credibility of their review: 

“Hi [CUSTOMER NAME], we think there might be some confusion here! You mention that we did not honor your reservation, but we don’t take those unless they’re for a private room. Could it be that you have the wrong business? Please privately message us or give us a call at [INSERT PHONE NUMBER] so we can better understand the situation!”

  • Don’t engage in a commenting war. If they continue to publicly comment back, refer them to an email address, phone number, or ask them to privately message you to further discuss their experience.

Can a business sue for a bad Facebook review?

Technically, you can sue for a bad Facebook review – but make sure you have a case first.

Businesses have sued reviewers claiming slander or defamation if the review content had false claims that hurt their business. Before making the decision to sue, we recommend you hire a legal professional to discuss the option, as we are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice.

Responding to Positive Facebook Reviews or Recommendations

Positive Facebook reviews and recommendations aren’t as difficult to deal with properly, but there are a few best practices you should follow just the same.

Why respond to a positive Facebook review or recommendation

Positive reviews are from your biggest fans, so you should absolutely respond to them. Make your happiest customers even happier by commenting a short, sweet, personalized note, thanking them for their business. That makes them feel noticed and appreciated, and they’ll be more likely to come back.

How to respond to a positive Facebook review or recommendation (+ examples)

Responding to a positive Facebook review or recommendation is as easy (and fun) as it sounds. Here are a few tips for doing it well:

  • Say thanks. Your customers keep you in business – thank them for their positive feedback!
  • Point out something they mentioned in the review. Make your response a little more personal by saying, “we’re so glad you loved our ______,” or, “we’ll be sure to let Greg know you loved having him as your waiter!”
  • Invite them back. Let them know you’re excited to see them again with a simple, “we look forward to having you dine with us again,” or, “we hope to see you again soon!”

Removing Facebook Reviews or Recommendations

If you’ve been hit by a string of fake Facebook reviews or recommendations, or you simply don’t have time to monitor all the reviews that are coming in, it may be time to remove them.

Can you remove a bad or fake Facebook review?

As the business page administrator, you don’t have the power to remove a bad or fake review yourself. You have to report it to Facebook and they will decide whether to remove the review.

For a Facebook review to be removed, it must fall under at least one of the following categories:

  • Recommendation or Review Not Relevant, for any reviews that don’t specifically refer to an experience with your business.
  • Unfair Recommendation. This isn’t just for reviews you think are unfair. It’s for those you suspect were paid for or written by former employees or competitors.
  • Harassment, for any reviews written by people who have been constantly attacking your business.
  • Spam, which can be used for any computer-generated or salesy content.
  • Violence, Nudity, Hate Speech, Drugs, Suicide or Self-Injury, all of which Facebook considers “objectionable content” and has strict policies against. These should be reported immediately.

How to remove Facebook reviews or recommendations in 2019

Facebook’s setup is constantly changing, so information that was written three years ago may no longer be valid.

Here’s how to remove Facebook reviews or recommendations in 2019:

1. Login to your Facebook’s business page.
2. On your page, select the “Reviews” or “Recommendations” tab on the left-hand side:

3. Locate the fake Facebook review you want to remove.
4. Click on the exclamation point icon to the right of the review:

5. Select the reason you want it to be removed:

6. Click “Send.”

Getting More Facebook Reviews and Recommendations

After you respond to Facebook reviews left on your business’ page, you can continue effectively build a stronger reputation by getting more Facebook reviews and recommendations. Let us teach you how to get Facebook reviews with useful tips and advice you can put into practice today.

Why a high Facebook rating matters

A large number of positive Facebook reviews does more than build a good reputation of your business. It also discredits the negative Facebook reviews you’ve received.

Facebook highly values relationships, and so if a user’s friend has recommended your business, that recommendation will show at the top for them. The Facebook user will see that their friend had a positive experience at your business, and that personal recommendation is incredibly valuable to the user’s decision-making process.

The more positive Facebook reviews and recommendations you can get, the better your online reputation, and the more like friends of reviewers are to choose you over competitors.

How to encourage more positive Facebook reviews

If you want to boost your Facebook rating, getting lots of positive Facebook reviews or recommendations is easier than you might think.

Here are some best practices to help you get more positive Facebook reviews or recommendations:

  • Pre-screen your customers. Ask your customers how satisfied they were with their experience before sending them online to review you publicly. That way, only your happiest customers are sent to Facebook.
  • Follow-up with customers. When you send reminders to customers who did not take action, you can double the number of Facebook reviews you receive.
  • Frequently send review requests. Sending as many as possible as often as possible is important to get more Facebook reviews since the conversion rate is low compared to those sent to Google or Yelp. The review page on Facebook is busy and cluttered, sometimes distracting customers from what they came to do.
  • Automate the process to effectively receive more Facebook reviews without spending lots of time.
  • Include instructions on how to leave a review on Facebook because it can often be confusing, like this:
    Head to the reviews section of our business page: [INSERT REVIEW PAGE LINK]
    – Locate the “Do you recommend [BUSINESS NAME]?” section
    – Select your response and provide feedback on your experience
  • Check out our free trial which makes the process of getting more Facebook reviews easy.

Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide on how to get Facebook reviews.