Local Marketing Blog
Local Marketing Blog
Local Marketing Blog

Negative Reviews: How to Handle Stalkers

I have written and spoken extensively about how to handle negative reviews in the past.   I continue to believe the basic advice in that blog post  is appropriate in (nearly) every situation.

However, some circumstances are worthy of extra commentary and review stalkers are one of those.

Review Stalker


A review stalker is:

  • someone who writes multiple reviews, typically on multiple review sites.
  • focused on a situation that is not a fixable by you.
  • not willing to let the issue go after you do your best to help them.

A review stalker is NOT someone who writes one bad review. They also tend not to be typical customers.  Often, they are not customers at all.  If a potential stalker has an issue with a situation that is fixable by you without compromising your business ethics or values, then it is usually worth doing what you can (in considering the cost/benefit of this, think through the cost of your time, the bad PR, the lost customers, etc.) to make the problem go away.

Responding Publicly to Stalkers

Once you have tried to talk with the person and done your best to fix the situation, your only option is to respond to the review (one caveat is when the reviewer is not a customer of your business and leaves the review on Customer Lobby, we will remove that review).  In responding to stalkers:

  1. Carefully read the review and determine all of the issues that a *potential customer* might have in choosing your business that are raised or are hinted at in the review.
  2. Use these basic response tactics and respond by discussing what changes you have made (or are in the process of making) so that this issue will not happen for a future customer.  Be creative here.
  3. Avoid the temptation to call them out as a stalker.  Most likely the reader of the stalker’s review will not see other reviews written by that person so calling them out as a stalker makes you sound defensive.
  4. Repeat each time a new review is posted by this person but avoid the temptation to copy/paste your response.  Treat each review as a new situation.

Lastly, let us help you.  Even if you are not a customer of Customer Lobby, we are happy to discuss your stalker and help you craft a response.




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