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Don't Be Afraid of Negative Reviews. They Can Help Your Business

By Special Guest
Beth Pradelli, Cofounder of NatureCity
October 22, 2021

Reviews play a critical role in the customer buying journey. Unlike what many business owners think, consumers aren't just skimming reviews before they decide whether to purchase or pass on a product; they are doing their due diligence to read up on what previous customers are saying about your company.

Some people will spend a few minutes browsing through reviews, while others spend hours researching before they feel comfortable enough to make a decision. 87% of consumers do it, and 31% people report doing it more frequently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If they don't like what they see, that information could be enough to steer them away from your business. So, it's no wonder why negative reviews are so terrifying.

You might think your best bet would be deterring any reviews in the first place, or at least doing everything in your power to only get five-star star reviews, right? Well actually, this shouldn't be your goal at all. Negative reviews can help your business in ways you may not even realize. Keep reading and I'll tell you how.

Negative reviews help make your brand look more authentic

I've already talked about how seriously your customers heed reviews when they're considering whether or not to buy from you. But you have to understand that their unwillingness to pull the trigger on a purchase isn't based off of seeing a few bad reviews. Customers understand that brands aren't perfect and expect to see a few bad reviews during their research.

Bad reviews help give them an idea of the worst-case scenario so they know what can go wrong, and how you'll handle the situation if things do go wrong. A defective product? Delayed shipping? A missed order? There's no reason these have to be deal-breakers as long as customers know they will be remedied. As hard as we try to make sure everything is perfect, issues will happen. So, the occasional negative review isn't shocking. What is suspicious, however, are too many positive reviews.

A mix of good and bad reviews is what makes your brand look more authentic, especially with fake positive reviews on the rise. When a company shows all of their reviews, it shows they have nothing to hide and that they truly take pride in their business growth.

Negative reviews show your human side

People are paying attention to your customer service efforts, and this includes how you handle reviews as well. Negative reviews are the perfect opportunity for you to publicly respond to issues so your customers know what you're doing to resolve their conflicts. Not only will you keep that customer happy, but the other people who skim these reviews in the future will see these interactions and feel like they're in safe hands if they buy from your company. Bad reviews can cost a business money, but so can poor customer service efforts. So, the two really can go hand-in-hand here.

But this doesn't mean you should only be responding to negative feedback. Interacting with people who've left positive comments will show your appreciation for your customers as well. Whether good or bad, consistent conversations with customers shows the human-side of your brand.

Negative reviews help make your business stronger

You'll notice that some of your reviews will just be one-off comments from customers, but if you start seeing a pattern across a bunch of your reviews, it's time to rethink your business. Just as positive reviews affirm the strong aspects of your company, negative reviews shine a light on areas that have been overlooked and need improvement, like updating your product or more attentive customer service efforts.

The hard truth of business is that not every company will make it. Failure can happen for a number of reasons outside of our control, but sometimes all it might've taken to save a drowning business were a few organizational tweaks.

Every single review you receive from your customers is a gift, and there is something that can be learned from every comment, big or small. Don't try to discourage your customers from leaving a review. Negative reviews are a learning opportunity for what we can be doing better, and if we see this information as a way to grow and transform, this is how we can find lasting success.

Edited by Luke Bellos
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