How Negative Reviews Can Help Boost Your Business: If You Handle Them Effectively

Sales professionals will be quick to tell you that a positive customer review goes a long way toward converting prospects into eventual customers. What better way to convince the market that you can walk the walk than to have satisfied customers tell your story for you? Conversely, negative reviews can be quite damaging. Data suggests that positive reviews influence the purchase decisions of 90 percent of respondents, while negative reviews influence around 86 percent.

But negative reviews and customer complaints can actually be good for business. Let’s look at some potentially counter-intuitive reasons why.

Make the Positives Stand Out More

No one wants to see a negative review on their site, whether it’s on Amazon, your company website or even Airbnb. But if you have 15 positive reviews and a single negative, that negative can actually help the positives stand out more, says Shane Barker writing for Inc. “When you display the bad reviews, there’s a much better chance people will believe the positive reviews,” he says.

Expose Hidden Problems

Negative customer reviews can be, well, negative. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have offer valuable insights. Even when a customer review is filled with vitriol, it may likely be based on a legitimate issue. And just because one customer is the most vocal, doesn’t mean they’re alone in their sentiments. As John Rampton writes for SurveyMonkey, “For every one complaint you receive, there are dozens of other customers who most likely experienced the same thing, but didn’t speak up.”

These insights can help identify areas in need of improvement. “With busy day-to-day activities, you might not have been looking at how each of the pieces were doing,” says Rampton. “When customers complain, they’re bringing them to your attention so you can get them fixed. This could involve a rude staff member, slow response time, or poor product or service quality.”

Provide Possible Solutions

Rampton also notes that negative feedback often comes with proposed solutions to the problem. Don’t look at these solutions and think, “don’t tell me how to run my business!” Take suggestions to heart and recognize that customers offering solutions are customers that want to remain customers, as long as you effectively address their concerns.

It’s easy to cringe when we see negative reviews, but they can actually benefit your company. Not only can constructive feedback help add credibility to, and highlight, positive reviews, it can help you improve your business offerings. If you’re responsive to criticism, you can identify and eliminate issues that can make your products and services that much stronger.


Stay up-to-date on the latest traditional and digital marketing trends and insights for communication leaders: subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Recommended Reading

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR: Tips and Best Practices for Gaining Media Exposure


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Complete the math problem before submitting a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.