How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews for Your Cleaning Services: Comprehensive Guide with Examples

May 9, 2023 in Marketing

Last Updated on May 11, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

ZenMaid is the simple scheduling software that will help you save 30+ hours in your cleaning business every week. Join thousands of other cleaning business owners who now have time to take a nap, spend time with their families, and take vacations! Start your free 14-day trial today to discover how many hours you can get back in your week.

If you’ve been running your cleaning business for more than a week, you understand; it can be challenging whether it’s a new maid service or a decades-old cleaning services company. One of the hardest things that can happen is when an unhappy customer leaves a negative online review. Getting a negative review is never fun because it often feels like a personal attack. But it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world. In fact, how you respond to negative reviews can actually help to improve your reputation and show potential customers that you will go the extra mile to make them happy. You may even be able to turn it into a positive review!

So, whether you’re here because you just got your first harsh review or you’re playing defence and staying ahead of it, here are some tips on how to respond to negative reviews for your cleaning business.

Breathe sign hidden in foliage

#1: Take a deep breath and remain calm

When you receive a negative review, the first thing to do is to take a deep breath and remain calm. Before you exit this article — take a deep BREATH. That’s the advice? — Hang tight with us for a minute!

When panic hits our system — whether it’s a lion attack thousands of years ago or a negative review online in the modern digital world — our brains fire off a stress alarm, sometimes causing us to act out of character. So naturally, you might feel defensive or upset when someone criticizes your business. No matter what the situation is, it’s important to respond in a professional and respectful manner. Starting with a deep, slow breath communicates to our panicked survival brain that everything is a-ok. As a result, you’ll be more level-headed to take the next action.

Minimalist clock hung on white wall

#2: Respond quickly

Okay, after you’ve taken a moment to take a breath and remain ‘zen’, the next step is to respond in a timely manner. This doesn’t mean you have to jump on it within the hour but aim to respond within that business day if you can. It’s better to remain in a position of controlling the narrative online before too many eyes see the bad review.

More importantly, when responding to negative customer reviews, it’s important to do so politely. Thank your customer for their feedback and apologize for any inconvenience or issues they experienced. Be sure to use polite and respectful language and avoid getting defensive or argumentative. Focus on excellent customer service no matter what!

Two men talking seriously across a table

#3: Address the specific issues raised in the review

When responding to a negative review, addressing the issues raised in the negative customer feedback is important. This shows your customer that you have taken their feedback seriously and are working to address their concerns. Be specific in your response, and provide details on what you are doing to resolve the issue. Ask them to take the conversation offline – to email or a phone call, if they are willing. No need to have a back-and-forth that could escalate online.

Hands holding out a lightbulb

#4: Offer a solution

Depending on the severity of the issue raised in the negative feedback, it may be appropriate to offer a solution or compensation. This could include offering a refund, a free cleaning service, or a discount on future services. Remember, offer the solution or compensation in a polite and respectful manner. If you find yourself getting worked up at any point, go back to step #1 and take a deep breath.

5 stars lined up

#5: Encourage positive reviews

Encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews on your website, social media pages, or review sites is the best way to counteract negative reviews. Unfortunately, most customers are unlikely to leave reviews unless they have had a negative experience. To encourage positive reviews for your maid service, make it as easy as possible by providing links in your communication with them.

One great way to do this is by sending an email or message thanking them for their business and including a link to leave a review. This shows appreciation for their business and provides an opportunity to leave a review while your service is still fresh in their mind.

Woman's feet walking up steps

#6: Take active steps to prevent future negative reviews

In addition to responding to negative online reviews, it’s important to take steps to prevent future bad reviews. This might look like evaluating your customer service, addressing any issues with your cleaning services, and providing training to your employees or customer service team. By taking proactive steps to prevent negative reviews, you can improve your business’s reputation and ensure that your customers are not only satisfied with your services but remain loyal customers.

Here’s another helpful article to respond to customer complaints (we think the more help the better!): How To Deal with Cleaning Customer Complaints

Person's hand writing with a pen

#7: Learn from negative reviews

Finally, it’s important to learn from negative reviews. While they can be difficult to receive, negative reviews provide valuable feedback that can help you improve your business. Take the time to reflect on the issues raised in the negative review and consider what changes you can make to prevent similar issues in the future. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to learn and grow as a business.

Frusterated woman holding her head

Use negative review response templates

If you’re not sure how to respond to a negative review, there are plenty of negative review response examples available online. These templates provide a framework for responding to negative reviews in a professional and respectful manner. As tempting as it may be to copy, paste, and call it a day, always customize a template to fit your specific situation and use your unique brand voice.

Here’s a template you can use to get started:

Dear [Customer’s name],

I’m sorry to hear that your experience with our cleaning service was not up to your expectations. I completely understand how frustrating it can be when things don’t go as planned, and I want to make things right.

We take all feedback seriously and want to address the issue as soon as possible. I would like to personally apologize for any inconvenience caused and assure you that we will investigate the matter thoroughly.

To help us better understand the issue, could you please provide us with more details about your experience? We’d like to know the date and time of the service and the name of the cleaner who provided the service. This information will allow us to take the necessary steps to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future.

Again, I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we hope to have the opportunity to make it right for you. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Cleaning Business Name]

Need some more great negative review response examples? We’ve got you covered. Get our free Ultimate Solution to Handling Negative Reviews in the Cleaning Business Guide to access our top five templates.

Want to learn more about how positive (and negative!) reviews can help you grow your business? Check out our partners at NiceJob, who will show you how to use reputation management strategy to grow your cleaning business and turn your happy customers into vocal, raving fans!

Wrapping Up

Running a cleaning service is no easy feat. We hope that following these tips on how to respond and turn negative reviews into positive ones. Remember to stay calm, respond quickly, and address the specific issues raised in the review. Offer a solution if necessary, encourage positive reviews, take proactive steps to prevent future negative reviews, and always learn from your mistakes. By taking these steps, you can show your customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing high-quality cleaning services. Keep up the hard work, and remember: even the best businesses receive negative reviews from time to time.


Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

All posts

Popular Posts

Subscribe & Follow

What are you looking for?

About Us

About Us


ZenMaid exists to make maid services like yours successful. We started by creating the simplest scheduling software for your maid service. Now we contribute to the industry with events like the Maid Summit, communities of #zenmaiders like the ZenMaid Mastermind on Facebook, and amazing free content like you'll find on this very page. Learn More

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed. New posts will not be retrieved for at least 5 minutes.