Why you need to embrace negative reviews

27 July 2017

No one likes being told something they don’t want to hear: ‘They’ve run out of the special at your favourite restaurant’; ‘Your bank balance is £0.00’; ‘Those jeans looked better on the mannequin’– but for every bad comment, there’s an opportunity to learn.

We’re talking about listening to every customer, and getting to the truth of how they really feel about your business. Every opinion adds value, whether you agree with them or not.

Negative reviews are inevitable, so embrace them!

No business is perfect. Sometimes, something will go wrong, whether it’s the delivery, an error with the website or the customer simply isn’t happy with the product or service they purchased. It’s easy to think that these problems aren’t your fault. Sure, it wasn’t your company that decided to throw the customer’s package on the roof rather than give it to a neighbour, but that doesn’t mean the finger won’t be pointed at you.

Ultimately, you are responsible for the entire experience your customer receives, from product to postage. If you’ve received a lot of complaints about a supplier, then maybe it’s time to consider using a different service.

Negative reviews can improve your business

Think about the last time you wrote a bad review; you probably took the time to write it because you want the business to improve and get it right in the future. That’s exactly why businesses shouldn’t brush any bad comments under the rug – every piece of feedback, good or bad, is valuable information.


Take The Fragrance Shop, for example – they chose to implement Feefo so they could hear from their customers and use the feedback they received to improve its service. They quickly found that the feedback helped to motivate their staff, as every comment was taken on board, resulting in a noticeable improvement to the retailer’s customer service.

Consumers rarely trust perfection

When a customer researches a product, service, brand or seller, they’re not expecting to see just five-star reviews. In fact, a study from Northwestern University’s Spiegel Digital and Database Research Center in the US found that negative reviews have a positive impact on businesses because they increase trust among consumers. You don’t want every other review to be negative, but the odd one here and there reassures consumers that you aren’t hiding the bad ones and that every comment is genuine.

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If you’ve responded to the negative reviews in a positive, constructive manner, this too reflects well on your brand, as it shows you’ve listened to the feedback, taken the time to respond to the customer and solved the problem.

Always respond to negative reviews

Our parents always taught us ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’, but this isn’t a great tactic for responding to online reviews. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially when that person is unhappy in the first place. Ignoring a negative review not only angers that customer further (which means they’re unlikely to shop with you again), it puts off any other consumers that can see you haven’t responded to that comment.

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US streaming service Netflix demonstrated just how big an impact ignoring negative feedback can have when it announced it was splitting its DVD rental and streaming businesses whilst also increasing its prices. More than 11,000 angry comments were left on their blog, but the company decided to go ahead anyway. As a result, it lost more than 800,000 subscribers in just three months. Fortunately, it has since managed to repair its reputation, but it’s taken years of effort.

Learn how to handle negative reviews today

At Feefo, trust and honesty are important to us, that’s why we advocate that our clients don’t hide away from negative reviews. When done correctly, there are so many benefits to listening and responding to negative reviews:

– You’ll gain valuable customer insight you can use to improve customer service, product/service offerings, sales techniques and more.

– The relationship between you and your customers will improve, persuading them to buy with you again, even if something did go wrong.

– Keeping negative reviews visible can increase consumer trust levels, so long as you have responded in a respectful, helpful manner.

– You’ll no longer worry about receiving a bad review, as you’ll know exactly what to do to improve the customer’s sentiment.

If you want to make the most of negative reviews and learn how to respond to a variety of possible tricky scenarios, download our How to Handle Negative Reviews guide today. For further helpful reviews advice, give our friendly experts a ring today on 0203 361 4209 or get in touch.

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