Negative reviews are tough to see. Whether the negative review was left by an particularly picky customer or something just went wrong that day, negative reviews don’t seem fair. It’s tempting to try and get rid of or cover up these harsh comments by any means necessary. However, manipulating the review system to only show positive reviews is not only unethical, but it can hurt your business. Negative reviews can actually have some positive effects.

7 Ways Negative Reviews Create Positive Results:

If you’re panicking and wondering how to take the review down or cover it up, ask yourself if the negative review accomplishes these things. It may seem counterintuitive, but negative reviews can actually help you.

1. Finding the Right Customers

If a customer says the product or service just didn’t work for them, it may be a simple matter of opinion. For example, a diner looking for a quick, cheap meal might not enjoy a cozy sit-down restaurant, and they might leave a negative review. Other customers may read this review and realize the restaurant isn’t what they want either, but that’s OK. If your business isn’t designed for these customers, it’s better for both of you if they find one that is.

Now all reviews are bad, but some can be problematic. See what you can do about them.

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2. Uncovering Problems

A business owner will never have the same experience as a customer. Negative reviews bring attention to problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. Whether you have a rude employee, a malfunctioning product, slow shipping, or something else, it’s best to know about the problem and respond to it rather than letting it drive away more customers. Make sure to regularly audit your business reputation to uncover these problems right away.

3. Creating Realistic Expectations

Negative reviews usually explain what a product or service isn’t, which will help other buyers get a realistic picture of what they’re buying. A negative review that points out a product or service’s limitations will save other buyers from being disappointed, creating a better overall experience and reducing requests for refunds. Buyers that get what they expect will be more likely to leave positive reviews.

4. Proving Authenticity

A complete absence of negative reviews is impossible and customers know it. While compliments on a job well done are welcome, negative reviews show that the comments are honest and trustworthy. If you have 50 five-star reviews without a single critical comment, customers are more likely to be dubious than impressed.

5. Showing Responsiveness

Thanking customers for their positive reviews shows that you are friendly and attentive, but this isn’t likely to stand out in a prospective customer’s mind. The best way to handle negative feedback is to address it and solve it, and this response will make an impact on new buyers. A business that addresses complaints gives buyers security, showing that they don’t have to worry if something goes wrong.

6. Making Your Business Approachable

Nobody is perfect. If a negative review highlights a mistake or a problem, it’s OK to own up and say you’ll do better next time. Reacting to criticism with a calm and constructive attitude shows customers that you are a real person, and that you are honest and reasonable. This is especially true for reviews that are overly harsh or dramatic; your calm, pleasant response will be even clearer against an argumentative comment.

7. Providing More Information

A business owner can describe or display their product or service on their website or shopping page, but they can’t provide all the details that every customer might want to know. Negative reviews, which usually target specific things, tend to be more helpful than positive reviews in this case. Negative reviews may point out that a clothing item fits smaller than normal or that a restaurant is especially spicy. These may be negative attributes for some and positive for others, but the information is helpful for all potential customers.

All businesses inevitably receive negative reviews, however not all negative reviews are strictly bad. Instead of worrying, denying or trying to cover up negative reviews, think of them as constructive tools for both you and your customers. With the right responses, you can turn negative reviews into positive impressions.

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