How Do You Respond To A One Star Review With No Comment?

So, your business has received a one-star review with no comment. Now what?

These reviews are confusing and, needless to say, frustrating. Are they “better” than negative reviews with comments?

Yes… and no.

On one hand, no comment is better than a scathing customer review dragging several areas of your business through the mud.

On the other hand, there’s no context for the negative review, which leaves you questioning why it’s negative - or whether the review is even genuine.

Still, no business wants to receive a negative review, comment or no comment.

Unlike Facebook, fellow major review sites Google and Yelp have yet to implement a minimum length for customer reviews. Whether that should be implemented or not is another topic.

For now, let’s discuss and answer the central question: How to respond to a one-star review that has no comment.

Why Post A One Star Review With No Comment?

This is a question worth asking since the answer can help you understand why the negative review was posted without a comment, as well as help you decide how to deal with the review going forward.

So why would a customer post a negative review with no comment?

Well, not leaving a comment could have been an honest mistake.

Not everyone is tech-savvy or has experience posting reviews, so the reason could simply be that the customer didn’t see the text box, or accidentally hit “Post” too soon.

Another reason could be that the customer was apathetic about writing a comment, or simply didn’t want to for privacy reasons.

But it’s also possible that a one-star review with no comment could have been posted with malicious intent (by a competitor or troll, for example) to deliberately harm a business’s rating and reputation.

Is The Review Genuine Or Fake?

How Do You Respond to a One Star Review with No Comment

If you’ve received a one-star review with no comment, the first course of action is to assess whether the review is genuine or fake.

The fact that there’s no comment is a reason itself to question the review’s legitimacy, but there are other signs you can look for to deduce whether it’s fake.

Typically, the signs that a review (with no comment) might be fake are:

  • The reviewer is not displaying a picture of themselves
  • The reviewer’s name lacks credibility, i.e. they’re using a pseudonym
  • The reviewer has not posted any other reviews (the review is their first)

Despite these general signs, it's still worth giving each review the benefit of the doubt.

These do not always indicate a fake review, so you should avoid denouncing a customer review as fake or reporting/flagging a review without being sure.

How To Report A Fake One Star Review

If you are certain a negative review that you have received is fake, it’s possible to report and flag it for review.

Major review sites, including Google, Yelp, and Facebook, provide this feature to reduce spam and protect customers from being misled.

Reporting/flagging a fake review is as simple as clicking the flag icon or “Report” button beside any review and providing your reason for reporting it.

Bear in mind that the review is not removed until the review site has evaluated it and confirmed it to be fake… and they may not do this even if the review is clearly fake.

How To Respond To A Negative Review With No Comment

As mentioned above, it’s important to give each review the benefit of the doubt - even if it has no comment or appears fake.

Responding to it professionally is far better than wrongly assuming that it’s fake or even ignoring it altogether.

As with any review response, you should set out to address the reviewer by name and thank them for taking the time to post a review.

Since we are discussing negative reviews, it’s also vital to apologize.

If the negative review has no comment, finding out why the review is negative should be your goal - not why the review has no comment.

As an example, you can word your response along these lines:

“Hi [name], thank you for leaving a review. We are sorry that we didn’t meet your expectations. May we ask why you left a negative review?

Knowing why will help us solve any issues for you, as well as improve our service for you and other customers going forward. If you’d prefer to voice your concerns in private, please feel free to contact us directly.

[Business name/manager]”

Remember: a negative review might have no comment due to privacy reasons, so it’s worth offering the customer the option to communicate in private.

Will A One Star Review With No Comment Damage My Reputation?

How Do You Respond to a One Star Review with No Comment

This is another question worth asking. It goes without saying that a negative review is never ideal; it’s not what you want other customers to see and it can also lower your overall star rating.

But when a negative review has no comment, it can be argued that other customers will pay less attention to it - simply because the review has no context.

In other words: no reason was provided for the negative review, so some customers just won’t be convinced.

As a result, blank one-star reviews might not damage your online reputation as much as you think.

And if you have responded professionally (as shown above), most customers will be more influenced by your response than the negative review that isn’t saying anything at all.

Genuine, Detailed Reviews Are The Best Reviews

To conclude, negative reviews with no comments might be less influential than negative reviews with comments included, but you should still give the poster the benefit of the doubt and respond professionally with the goal of finding out why the review is negative.

And on the subject of reviews with no comments, always remember that the most influential customer reviews are the ones that are genuine, detailed, new, and, needless to say, positive.

These are the reviews that, simply put, work wonders for any business’s online reputation.

If you need a solution to collect genuine customer reviews organically, ReputationStacker was designed with that purpose in mind.

It’s fully automated, so all you have to do is watch as your business gets more reviews - detailed positive reviews, not one-star reviews with no comments.


Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.


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