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Negative Reviews Are Good For Business - Embrace It To Improve Your Product And Boost Sales

No matter what a new company or business builds or does, it will get bad reviews.

The chances of getting more money go up as you get bigger.

A lot of the time, negative reviews are good for business.

Let's be honest: getting a bad review can feel like getting punched in the stomach.

After all, your brand's main goal is to make products and experiences that people love.

And it's never fun to get bad comments about something you worked hard on.

But there will always be bad reviews.

Even the most popular businesses have to deal with them sometimes.

That's because you can't make a product that meets the needs of every single customer.

The Basics Of Online Reviews

A hand pressing dislike on a tablet
A hand pressing dislike on a tablet

What many people already know from their own personal experience is explained by the statistics of online reviews: reviews are deemed authoritative.

Customers search online first because they don't want to waste their time or money on a company that isn't up to standard given the global nature and diversity of today's marketplace.

The marketing firm Invesp compiled these facts on online reviews in order to better serve its clients.

The following are some of the most important statistics:

  • Everyone is looking at reviews: Before going to a store, nine out of ten customers look at other customers' feedback online.
  • Evaluations can be relied upon: 88 percent are just as likely to trust anything they read online as they are to take someone's word for it personally.
  • Positive feedback correlates to increased sales: Customers are more inclined to spend an additional 31 percent of their money at a company that has received numerous positive ratings.
  • Poor ratings result in a loss of business: Eighty-six percent of customers will reconsider making a purchase from a company if they have read just unfavorable evaluations.
  • Trust in ratings and comments is equivalent to trust in a company: 72 percent of customers claim that positive reviews increase the amount of trust they have in a company.

This demonstrates quite clearly that paying attention to online evaluations and considering them as part of a larger customer-centric strategy is not enough to ensure a company's long-term success or even its continued existence.

Reviews Are Important

Reviews and ratings are extremely important to the modern consumer.

The rich review ecosystem is one of the reasons why Amazon is currently the first pick for product searches despite Google's dominance of web and mobile search.

Customers are able to not only locate products but also view comments made by other customers regarding those things.

According to the findings of a large number of research, reviews are a major factor in most purchasing decisions.

Recent research indicates that 87 percent of consumers check internet evaluations for local businesses, which is a significant increase from the 67 percent who did so ten years ago.

Negative feedback can be quite damaging.

Customers are less likely to patronize a company if they have read negative reviews of that company, as reported by 92% of customers.

Although a company should never actively want to receive negative feedback, there are several circumstances in which having one or more negative evaluations might actually be beneficial to the company.

The Impact Of Negative Reviews

A hand pressing sad face to leave bad review
A hand pressing sad face to leave bad review

A solitary negative review in a sea of largely favorable reviews carries little weight.

Consumers are more likely to believe group experiences than the perspective of a single individual who had a negative isolated experience.

They will typically disregard the extreme opinions and adhere to the consensus.

Similarly, a single positive review amid a sea of negative ones will not do much to increase potential customers' trust.

Not every poor review will have a negative impact on your business, but if every review is negative, you are doing something wrong.

Consider negative comments as learning opportunities and find a method to improve as a result.

Integrity is invaluable, especially in the face of negative assessments.

Apologize for your errors, rectify them, and allow consumers to observe you taking public action and making adjustments.

How Negative Reviews Are Good For Business

In a perfect world, each of your customers would provide wonderful testimonials for the things they purchase.

But this is not the truth.

And that is fine.

Receiving infrequent one or two-star ratings does not indicate that your firm is failing.

In reality, there are four important ways in which one or two-star reviews might assist your business.

Negative Reviews Help You Build Trust With Shoppers

Today's shoppers have countless options.

A consumer examines thousands of factors while choosing which company to work with.

Trust is crucial.

Transparent brands earn trust.

Displaying customer feedback, especially unfavorable comments, is a key strategy.

Shoppers know you have nothing to hide from poor evaluations.

That makes you a trustworthy brand.

Negative Reviews Increase Product Sales

You might believe that a product's average star rating affects sales.

A study indicated that purchase probability increases between 4.2 and 4.5 stars (it varies a bit by product category).

If the average star rating exceeds 4.5, purchase likelihood declines.

Because ideal 5-star products seem too fantastic to be true.

A shopper may assume a brand is hiding something if there are no unfavorable reviews.

Negative reviews can promote sales by bringing your average star rating closer to 4.2-4.5

Negative Reviews Help Consumers Make Better Purchase Decisions

Negative reviews help shoppers decide which products meet their needs.

85% of shoppers seek unfavorable reviews, according to research.

A third of customers said bad reviews were a very important or important element in their decision, according to our research.

Two-thirds of ecommerce customers filter for one-star reviews.

These visitors convert at 108% of general online traffic (incidentally, this is the type of insight our PDP Site Analytics solution routinely surfaces).

Here are three things learned from brands and data:

  • The shopper decides the product doesn't meet their needs based on poor reviews. You avoid an angry consumer and a needless return if they remain looking for a better product.
  • The shopper disregards the one and two-star reviews as irrelevant. Say a shopper needs toddler shoes. They censor one and two-star reviews. Most unfavorable reviews say the shoes aren't suited for wide feet. This remark is irrelevant because the shopper's daughter has narrow feet. Still, she buys the shoes.
  • The shopper decides the worst-case situation isn't a problem and buys the thing regardless. A shopper investigating dining tables is an example. She only sees one and two-star reviews to prepare for the worst. Negative reviews mostly focus on assembling. This shopper adores creating furniture, so she's not worried. In fact, she sees this comment as an issue with the reviewers rather than the product.

In all three cases, unfavorable ratings helped shoppers make wiser purchases.

When customers are delighted with their purchases, they're more loyal and less likely to return them.

Negative Reviews Shed Light On Fixable Issues

One and two-star reviews can reveal faults with your products or services.

This input can help you service your consumers better.

Imagine you sell a high-return play kitchen for kids.

Unfortunately, you lack data on the returns.

But the product gets a low average rating.

Several reviewers say the product was hard to construct since the pieces didn't match up.

So you tell your manufacturer to increase the product's quality control.

The average star rating rises after the change.

Leverage Negative Reviews To Boost Your Business

A woman leaving a two star review and a man leaving a 1 star review on the phone
A woman leaving a two star review and a man leaving a 1 star review on the phone

Display Negative Reviews

Negative reviews might be filtered away.

Resist.

One and two-star ratings provide authenticity and show buyers they can trust your brand.

Negative reviews help buyers make informed purchasing decisions, reducing returns and boosting loyalty.

Regardless of star rating, display all reviews.

Allow shoppers to recognize the "worst case scenario" and decide if it's relevant.

First, shoppers can filter star ratings.

Lowest-rated reviews can also be sorted.

Consider presenting the most helpful positive and negative reviews for a product.

This helps shoppers identify worst-case scenarios.

This helps them find suitable products.

Respond To Negative Reviews

Don't hope favorable ratings will quickly cover up a negative review.

Respond to the review.

You can save a client connection by responding to a poor review.

If you fix the problem, the customer may buy from you again.

Your response will show future consumers that you appreciate them and want to help them.

This will inspire new customers to buy.

Responding to bad reviews quickly is crucial.

A dissatisfied customer will only get angrier.

Avoid prepared responses and being defensive.

Instead, use the shopper's name and address particular complaints.

When needed, disconnect.

Sometimes you need extra information from the customer to help them.

Post a public response to show the consumer (and potential shoppers) you're taking action.

Analyze Negative Reviews To Identify Actionable Insights

Negative reviews may mention a single issue.

A product may be damaged during shipping.

A poor review might sometimes indicate a broader problem.

Regularly analyze review content to measure mood and spot concerns.

Use the insights you find to better your products, messaging/marketing, or anything else the data suggests.

You may benchmark against competitors with the right tool like the product, brand, and product category ratings, emotion, major themes, etc.

This improves strategic direction and performance.

People Also Ask

Are Negative Reviews Bad For Business?

Negative reviews can hurt your business in a big way.

Every time a bad review shows up in a Google search, you might lose customers.

Customers are hesitant to buy from companies with bad reviews 86 percent of the time.

This will drive people away from your website and, of course, cost you money.

Should Companies Respond To Negative Reviews?

Even though it may be tempting to ignore the bad reviews and focus on the good ones, responding to the bad ones gives a better impression of your business as a whole.

And if you do it right, you might even be able to bring back a customer who was unhappy with your service and win their loyalty.

How Can Negative Comments Affect A Business?

Research shows that one bad review is enough to turn away 22% of potential customers, or about 30 people.

The number of lost customers goes up as the number of bad reviews goes up.

59.2% of customers won't buy from you if you have three bad reviews.

If you get more than four bad reviews, 70% of your customers will stop buying from you.

Conclusion

No business wants to hear bad things about itself. But if you do get them, they are real and honest feedback from real customers.

So you shouldn't try to sweep them under the proverbial rug.

Instead of being afraid of negative reviews, you should start to welcome them.

Not only do shoppers use them a lot to make sure they're buying what they want, but they're also full of information that can help you improve your products and business for good, serve your customers better, and make more money.

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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