How to respond to a 1-star review without comments

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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How to respond to a 1-star review without comments

If you’ve ever received a 1-star review without a comment, you know that it can bring down your overall rating on review platforms. And with no additional feedback from the customer, it’s difficult to make things right with them.

You also need to consider that every review and rating is public. Future potential customers might turn away after seeing a 1-star rating, especially if there’s no comment or response for additional context.

With a carefully written response, you’re able to open the lines of communication and work toward making things right again. In this post, you’ll learn how to respond to a 1-star review without comments.

Why is it important to respond to 1-star reviews even if there is no comment? 

If someone leaves you a 1-star review, this means they are either extremely dissatisfied with your company, or left it by mistake. Either way, you want to get to the bottom of the situation — especially if it’s a review with no comment.

Without reaching out to the customer, you have no way of knowing what went wrong.

The best way to deal with negative reviews is to approach the customer in a kind, apologetic manner, and ask to continue the conversation elsewhere. Now you can speak to the customer directly to better understand the reason behind the 1-star review. In the best-case scenario, you’ll mend the relationship with the customer and ask them to edit their review. And if it was a mistake, you can ask them to take it down.

What to consider when responding to reviews

Your first instinct might be to fight back against a bad review. But this won’t get you very far. Instead, try understanding the reviewer and their motivation behind the single star.

Understand the customer 

The customer behind a 1-star review is very disappointed about their experience. They are likely feeling very frustrated and let down by your company — which is why you should approach the situation as calmly as possible. Show empathy as you try to further understand what happened. Even if you don’t fully understand what happened, an apology can facilitate a productive conversation with the upset guest.

Consider the customer’s history

Before reaching out to the customer, find out who they are and what tour or activity they participated in. The more information you can find out on your end, the easier it’ll be to start a conversation with an upset customer.

  • Are they a first-time customer? 
  • How did they find out about your tour business? Did they participate alone or with others? 

Their history may help you better understand the review, making it easy for you to respond.

Try to understand the motivation behind the review 

It can be difficult to understand the motivation behind a negative review with no comment. If you don’t recognize the customer, ask your staff if anyone else knows what may have happened. Unless you can pinpoint a particular situation that the customer was involved in, you’ll need to follow up for more information. Kindly ask the customer to move the conversation outside the review platform, where you’ll be able to better address their concerns.

How to respond to the review

Responding to a negative review isn’t the most pleasant task — but it’s a necessary one. If you’re not sure how to approach your negative reviews, here are five helpful tips to follow.


An apology is a great way to start. When an upset customer sees that you’re approaching them with empathy, they’ll be more willing to let their guard down. A response like, “I’m sorry we didn’t meet your expectations. How can we make it up to you?” can kickstart a positive conversation. 

Show empathy

Rather than losing your temper or allowing the review to personally offend you, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Something about their experience went so horribly wrong that they felt compelled to leave a 1-star review. Be open to their perspective and try to understand where they’re coming from before making the wrong judgment call.

Respond promptly 

Don’t wait too long to respond to your negative reviews. Quick replies are more effective in 1) changing the customer’s mind and 2) showing anyone else who reads this review that you value customer feedback. Responding in a timely fashion helps minimize the negative impact of that single-star review.

Offer a solution publicly 

Remember that other users  are using reviews to decide whether to book with you. If they see a 1-star review with no response, they’ll likely interpret it negatively. When you respond, you have the chance to provide more context about the situation. You also show customers that you value their feedback. You’re taking the time to not only address their concerns but also offer them a viable solution.

Follow up by email or phone

You might be very close to losing a customer for good, and you only have so much time to salvage the relationship. The best way to do so is to continue the conversation off the review platform. Ask the customer to reach out to you via email or phone so that you can learn more about what happened. You should also follow up after the initial conversation to check how the customer is feeling and if there’s anything else you can do for them.

How to respond to a one-star review without comment canned responses 

Here are some thoughtful responses you can use when replying to a 1-star online reviews. 


We’re sorry to see your one-star rating and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to understand more about your experience. Our goal is always to provide an enjoyable and memorable tour, and it seems we may have fallen short of that with your visit. Please feel free to reach out to us directly with any feedback or concerns you might have. Your insights are invaluable in helping us improve. We hope to have the chance to make things right.

Indoor attraction 

We noticed your one-star rating and are genuinely concerned about your experience at our attraction. We strive to offer an engaging and enjoyable experience for all our guests, and it seems we might not have met your expectations. We would be grateful if you could share more details about your visit, so we can address any issues and improve our service. Please feel free to contact us directly with your feedback. Your satisfaction is important to us, and we hope to have the opportunity to provide a better experience in the future.

Theme park 

We’re truly sorry to hear that your visit to our theme park didn’t meet your expectations, as reflected in your one-star rating. Our aim is always to provide a fun, safe, and memorable experience for all our visitors. If there were specific aspects of your visit that were not up to par, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. Your insights are crucial for us to make necessary improvements. Please feel free to reach out to us with any details you wish to share. We hope to have the opportunity to provide you with a more enjoyable experience in the future.

Avoid this common pitfalls when responding to unhappy customers 

Here are some of the most common mistakes that tours and attractions make when replying to negative 1-star reviews.

  • Ignore the review. This can give the impression that you are indifferent to customer feedback and experiences. And it can even deter happy customers from leaving 5-star reviews since they might think you don’t care. Without more positive reviews, this means your negative ratings are more prominent on your profile. 
  • Get defensive. When you receive negative feedback about one of your tours or experiences, it is easy to get defensive or dismissive especially if you are a business owner. This only hurts your online reputation. Instead, it helps to change your mindset and treat any review as valuable feedback. 
  • Use generic responses that lack personalization. Creating canned replies and review templates is smart especially if you are training staff to reply to customer reviews. However, you should add some small personalization touches in your reply whenever possible to avoid coming across as insincere. 
  • Take a long time to reply to reviews on review sites. It is best to reply to a negative experience right away or at least within 24 hours. Timely responses demonstrate your commitment to providing exceptional service. 
  • Don’t use overly formal language. This makes the response seem impersonal and difficult for the customer to relate to. 
  • Not learning from feedback. Every bad experience or dissatisfied customer is a learning experience and an opportunity for improvement. Failing to acknowledge valid criticism or missing the chance to make necessary changes shows an inability to adapt.  


A single-star review shouldn’t be ignored, even if it comes with no additional feedback. Instead, follow these review response techniques above to craft a smart, apologetic response that will allow you to rescue the relationship with your customer.


Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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