How to Properly Deal With a Negative Review

By Chris Keenan on February 2, 2017

A pest control business–like any business–strives to provide the best service out there. From the first phone call about a pest problem to the end payment, the service should always be superb.

Unfortunately, misunderstandings happen, an employee has a bad day or a person is a little meticulous with their pest control services and outcomes. This tends to lead to a bad review online.

A study done by Dimensional Research showed that 95% of customers shared a bad review as compared to 87% who shared a good review, so the bad news is that you may find more people taking the time to critique your company instead of praise.

What do you do when you receive a not so stellar review? Here are some tips:

If the review is not accurate

Some people just get a rise out of a bad review and they may have never had dealings with your company–or you did not do anything wrong. This is a time when keeping an organized workflow can really help you out.

Read the customer review, research your data and see whether it offers any merit. Most online review platforms offer an opportunity for the business to respond to the claim. If the claim is false, then it is safe to state that the records have shown perhaps this person was never a customer or their own data is false. Doing so in a way that is professional can allow you to show 1) you care enough to reply to customers and 2) allows you to take back the momentum of the bad review and 3) shows you run an organized business, complete with up-to-date customer invoices and information.

If the review is accurate

If the review is accurate, then it is best not to refute it. You will have to be humble and admit that maybe the pest service you offered was not up to the usual standard that time. Coming back to an honest review with a dishonest response never ends well, and it will only dig your case even deeper. Unlike being able to prove fact on a false review, if you are putting fiction out on an honest review, you lose in the end.

The next step after the review

Okay, so you have decided whether or not the review is true or not and responded accordingly. How can you move past that point? Well, ideas could be another pest control treatment–free of charge, a gift certificate for another service or product you offer, or even just continuing the dialogue between you and the customer to figure out what went wrong and what you can do as the pest control company to do better next time.

You may or may not retain this specific customer, but working towards a better future will be noticed by those also following the reviews.


Sometimes, the review can be salvaged in the end after the above steps are taken. Maybe you and the customer decide to do a retreatment of the pest control product and it turns out better or the customer appreciates your kind gesture of whatever service or product you may have offered as an apology. Luckily, reviews can be changed and altered in the situation also changes.

You may have received a one-star review, but after working out a deal the customer can go back in and maybe offers a three or four-star review stating the original service had issues, but your pest control company went above and beyond to make amends. Most people will ignore the first part (as we are humans and make mistakes) and tune into what you did to fix it instead–which can benefit you.

Bad reviews are inevitable, no matter how hard you try, but it is what you do to help out your customers by creating open and honest dialogue in the end that will set you apart as a great pest control company.