7 Ways Bad Reviews Are Good For Your Business

You open your email to find you have a negative review. It’s a punch in the gut to hear someone publicly denounce your business, even worse if it’s not true. It’s easy to take it personally, get mad, and let them have it right back … publicly.

Or if you’re the non confrontational type: close your laptop and ignore it completely, hope it goes away on it’s own. Both are equally not beneficial for your business’ growth, reputation, or your marketing / customer experience strategy.


Sure, online revenue has a direct correlation to your bottom line (9% revenue increase per increasing star).

Sure, 94% of respondents use the internet multiple times a year to find local businesses, and the majority are more likely to use a business based on positive reviews. But don’t let that get you down.

And today 67% of people trust online reviews more than they trust friends and family recommendation.

To say reviews are important for businesses growth is an understatement. It’s a requirement for growth and trust building of any business no matter the size. Reviews should be apart of every marketing strategy.

But what about the bad reviews? They're not as bad as you think.  

Bad reviews can be good for your business. Yup, you read that right. They can build trust, help conversions, and Here’s how:

1) Show your human Side /  They establish credibility and authenticity.

No one’s perfect and the same goes for businesses. Even the “Happiest Place On Earth” - Disneyland has its fair share of 1 star reviews.

Just like people, no business is perfect, they have their growing pains, and kinks they have to work out.

This gives business the opportunity to own up to a mistake. Show humility by admitting your business made a mistake (only if it did).  This can go far with potential customers as well as the customer who wrote the review. Humility in sales and business can be a breath of fresh air for consumers.

2- Bad reviews can highlight the positive reviews.

There’s a much better chance people will believe the positive reviews when they see the negative.  People like to compare the pros and cons of the business before making a purchase.

Consumers are smart. 89% think they can spot a fake review. And according to Revoo. And 95% of consumers get suspicious if there are no bad reviews.  

Why? that’s basically saying the business is perfect and has never made a customer upset or screwed up, EVER. To most it screams FAKE REVIEWS!

3- show readers what type of business you are and how you respond to upset customers.

Potential customers are searching for reviews to see what the worst case scenario could be. When a business responds to a negative review in an open minded, professional matter and takes steps to correct a mistake it could win over future clients improving conversion rates and reinforcing customer loyalty. Who doesn’t want to do business with a business who has humility and does the right thing.

On the contrary, seeing how a business responds to trolls and obvious fake reviews by competitors can be just as effective as. A simple

“Hi *name*, thanks for your feedback! We don’t see your name in our customer database. We’d love to find out more about your experience, give us a call at: xxx-xxx-xxxx. Sincerely, Name, Title, Phone Number”

This response will tell potential customers this isn’t a real review. While still being open and professional.\

This gives customers the comfort of knowing that you will help them, even if they have a bad experience. Who knows, you may even be able to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal advocate.

4- Helps the buyer make an informed purchase decision and set expectations.

When people are making any purchase, especially a  big purchase there’s a lot of research that goes into it. Parting with a pile of cold hard earned cash can be daunting, so people want to make sure they’re giving the right business their money.

Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews. More than half of the respondents (54.7%) admitted that online reviews are fairly, very, or absolutely an important part of their decision-making process. (Source: MOZ).

72% of B2B buyers say negative reviews give depth and insight into a product (G2 Crowd and Heinz Marketing, 2017

When a potential customer reads a negative review they can help set expectations, which positive reviews may not be able to.  For example some one may review that the product was bigger than they expected. A potential customer can take this into consideration when purchasing the product.

Customers spend more than five times as long on site when they interact with bad reviews, trust the reviews they see far more and convert nearly 85% more often.* (REVOO)

5- Negative Reviews Give the business opportunity to improve.

Smart businesses will not only respond to reviews but take reviews into consideration as customer pain points. While not every review will or can be taken into consideration the more the review echo each other the likelihood they should be taken into consideration and is a common pain point for customers.

This can be addressed in the response.


“ Hi Name! Thanks for your feedback. We hear you, we’re currently taking steps to address this issue by 1) 2) 3). We hope you’ll give us another chance. Sincerely, name, title, phone number”  

This makes customers feel heard and understood, and builds trust and loyalty with the reader

6 - Share your side of the story.

Not all bad reviews are truthful and can be extremely one sided. Unfortunately this is common with customers who want to bully a business into giving them what they want with a bad review. “If you don’t do XXX I’ll write a facebook / google review and make sure no one does business with you.”

These people are the worst of the worst, but don’t be bullied by them. Respond with a graceful articulation of the whole side / your side of the story.  When you do this future customers can read both sides of the story and make an informed decision about your business.


7- Negative reviews increase conversion rates

Consumers spend four times as long interacting with negative reviews, with a 67% increase in conversion rate (Spiegel Research Center, 2017)

Responding is Key

Responding to negative reviews can create positive results. Statistics show that of the customers who received a response from a company after posting a negative comment, 33% turned around and posted a positive review, while 34% deleted their original negative review.


So bad reviews aren’t so bad after all!