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Review Response Templates

Review Response Templates

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Whether you love them or live in fear of them, reviews matter. 

Online reviews have many benefits. They’re an important indicator of your overall reputation, have the power to make or break a sale, and directly influence whether someone chooses you or opts for a competitor. 

Plus they’re a known local SEO ranking factor—whether or not you respond to reviews (in addition to the volume and frequency of new reviews) will influence where you appear in the local pack. 

So it’s not enough to only have a process for online review management, that includes requesting reviews and building a review profile. You also need a documented process in place when it comes to responding to your customer reviews. 

Why should you respond to customer reviews?

Our own Local Consumer Review Survey shows that a quick review response is more crucial than ever:

  • 96% of consumers say they read the business response, both good and bad
  • The majority of consumers writing a review expect to receive a response
  • 20% of consumers say they would expect to wait no longer than one day for a response
  • 26% of consumers expect a response within two days

Because timely review responses are so important, it can be helpful to have a few pre-prepared templates on hand.

The following examples will help to ensure that you’re always providing a professional, polished, and appropriate reply—no matter the sentiment of the feedback, or how pressed for time you may be. 

What type of review response templates do you need?

There are many different types of reviewers. They range from people who truly love your business and just want to share their joy, to serial complainers who are just downright unreasonable. 

So you can realistically expect a range of review styles—covering everything from ‘a star rating with no text’ and ‘short and sweet feedback’, to ‘lengthy storytelling’ and ‘venting complaints’.

To address this range, you can either build your own custom templates, or skip straight to some examples and adapt for your business. Either way you’ll need a selection of both positive review response templates and negative review response templates.

Constructing Your Own Review Response Templates

A good review response starts with a few key building blocks: 

  • An acknowledgement: Good or bad, your response should open by thanking the reviewer for taking the time to share their experiences. 
  • A reference to their experience: Provided that you aren’t dealing with a very basic star-only review, it’s good practice to reference any details the reviewer has shared about their experience. If they’ve singled out a particular coworker for praise (for example) then name that person in your response. If the reviewer found your customer service to be especially helpful, repeat that in your response.
  • An invitation to discuss further: If the reviewer wasn’t happy with any aspects of their interaction, then invite them to reach out via email, direct message, or telephone so that you can learn more. This shows that you’re keen to understand their issues and that you are open to taking steps to remedy them where possible. 
  • An invitation to return: End your response on a positive note that invites the customer to return soon. 

Customizable Review Response Templates

These positive/negative review response templates are ready to be copied, pasted, and edited for use straight away. 

1. The ‘unfair’ 1-star review

Unfair 1 Star

Dealing with negative reviews can be tricky—especially when the review is erroneous or misrepresented—as you’re naturally starting from a place of irritation. So take a deep breath, open up this first negative review response template, and draft a cool, calm, and collected message.

Negative review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. I’m sorry to hear that your experience hasn’t met your expectations on this occasion. It sounds like [insert reason for the miscommunication]. 

I’ve shared this with the team so we can make our [insert policy] a little clearer. Please do reach out [insert contact info] if we can assist further. 

2. The ‘did not use’ 1-star review

Did Not Use 1 Star

When a potential customer says why they ‘didn’t use you’, there’s an opportunity to reply and reassure other potential customers that you want to address their concerns.

Negative review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

I’m sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with us. It’s always our intention to provide great customer service and useful, transparent advice. Please accept our sincerest apologies that we didn’t live up to your expectations on this occasion. 

I’m thankful that you reached out to share your experience as your valuable feedback helps us to improve our processes and better serve our clients. Please reach out to us at [insert contact info] to discuss how we can make this right. 

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3. The ‘great but’ review

Great But


This review can be super frustrating to read. The reviewer admits that you offered a great experience but they have docked a star anyway because the service or product was great but not exceptional. This kind of review is very useful to have on your profile because it offers several reasons why readers should engage with you. Having a concise and appreciative positive response review template will serve you well here. 

Positive review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed [insert experience] and look forward to welcoming you again soon! 

4. The ‘overall happy’ review

Overall Happy Review

This customer offers a four- or five-star review, with an overall positive feel but with one or two little niggles. This is actually a wonderful review to have because it shows that you’re still prepared to fix any minor issues.

Positive review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

First of all, thank you so much for sharing your feedback with us—we really value your input and flagging up areas where we can further improve. I’m so happy to hear that [insert staff name] was able to help you [insert outcome] and put things right. It sounds like you [insert end result]. I’m pleased we were able to help! 

5. The ‘professional reviewer’ review

Professional Reviewer


This will typically be a balanced review, referencing both pros and cons. Because it comes from an influencer, or from someone whose opinion is valued by peers, it requires a well-crafted, positive response that refers to the specific points raised. 

Positive review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

It was great to hear that you enjoyed [insert visit/experience detail]. We really appreciate your detailed review and the fact that you [insert a plus from review]. 

Thank you also for your feedback highlighting where we can do better. We appreciate hearing about your experience and your thoughts about [insert reference]. Your comments are really helpful in highlighting opportunities to improve our service even further and your recommendations are being addressed internally. 

We hope to welcome you back again soon! 

6. The ‘short and sweet five-star’ review

Short And Sweet Review


This is the kind of review that we all dream of… one that’s nice and easy to respond to! 

Positive review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

Many thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We’re very happy to hear that we met your expectations and were able to [insert detail] quickly! 

7. The ‘brand evangelist’ review

Brand Evangelist

Your brand evangelists love all of their interactions with your business, and they’re happy to share their enthusiasm with the world. These are the kind of reviews that put a smile on your face… so take the time to be nice back! 

Positive review response template

Hello [Reviewer Name],

We’re delighted to hear about your recent experience with us and we’re so pleased that you recommend our [insert product/service]. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

In Conclusion

Having a predefined library of positive and negative review response templates can be an incredibly helpful asset. 

It speeds up your ability to craft personalized, professional responses that emphasize your gratitude for the feedback—whatever it might be.

Mark Crowe
About the author
Mark Crowe was Content SEO Executive at BrightLocal. With an interest in all things search, his past lives included work both in-house and agency-side for companies around the world, such as American Express, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Vodafone.