How Negative Reviews Help Your Business

Can negative reviews help your business?

It’s a question that most people will quickly answer with a hard “no”. And yet the real answer is not as clear-cut as it might seem.

In fact, you might be surprised by the advantages that negative reviews can offer your business.

Getting a negative review is not the end of your business and nor is every negative review all bad, especially when looked at from a different perspective.

But how can negative reviews help your business?

In short, negative reviews can have the potential to convert customers and improve sales.

Of course, positive reviews are much more appealing to customers, so getting positive reviews should still be the goal of your business.

Still, there are a few exceptions where negative reviews are beneficial and this guide explains why.

Why Are Negative Reviews Important?

No business wants to receive a negative review. It can feel like a punch in the gut, especially when you have put in the effort to provide the best customer service possible, or worked hard on a specific area that ended up being criticized in a negative review.

But while it is true that negative reviews can scare customers away, they can also work in your favor and improve customer sales in various ways.

Negative reviews are still important, despite being undesirable.

And this is because negative reviews can highlight areas for improvement, provide authenticity, reflect improvement, showcase your values, and help customers to make informed purchase decisions.

Negative Reviews Highlight Areas For Improvement

This is the most obvious reason why negative reviews can help your business.

Customers’ feelings should always be considered as valid and if taken with an open mind, can offer valuable constructive criticism for where your business needs to improve.

Receiving external feedback is important – not just where reviews are concerned. But for your business, negative reviews can highlight areas for improvement that you might not already be aware of.

As a result, making sure to improve these areas is going to improve your business overall. This will lead to more happy customers and receiving more positive reviews down the line.

Negative Reviews Can Provide Authenticity

Have you ever viewed a business page on Google, Facebook, or Yelp that only had a handful of perfect 5-star reviews with little, or vague, content? 

You will probably remember it because it made you feel suspicious. And that suspicion negatively affected your decision to purchase a product or service from that business.

Because of this, negative reviews can provide a layer of authenticity to your business. 

So if your business has several 3-star or even 1-star reviews, consider that they may actually work in your favor by increasing your business’s authenticity and reducing customers’ suspicion.

Negative Reviews Can Reflect Improvement

As mentioned, negative reviews can highlight areas where your business needs to improve.

And if you took the criticism in good stride and improved these areas, there is a chance that new customers will mention them in a positive review.

The average customer will read 10 reviews before they feel that they can trust a business.

This is the average however, so there are some customers who will read more reviews before making a purchase decision.

Why is this important? Customers who read ten or more reviews may notice a past negative review that criticized a certain area of your business, as well as a recent positive review that said the opposite. 

The result is that these customers might pick up on how your business took the criticism seriously and made the effort to improve, which will generate trust.

This not only shows that your business cares about the quality of the service it wants to deliver, but also its customers.

Negative Reviews Are A Chance To Express Values

It’s important to respond to customer reviews, no matter whether they are negative reviews or positive reviews.

Replying to customer reviews is a level of communication that can demonstrate trust, authenticity, and customer appreciation.

Negative reviews, in particular, are a chance to express your business values.

And whether that’s putting the customer first, the desire to constantly improve your service through customer feedback, or something else, negative reviews are an opportunity to let your customers know what your business takes pride in.

Responses to reviews are public, so customers can read these replies and get a greater understanding of your business.

This is yet another way negative reviews can help your business, as your responses can evoke trust and transparency.

Negative Reviews Can Help Purchase Decisions

In some cases, negative reviews can help customers to make more informed decisions about a product or service, resulting in a sale.

A negative review may contain a specific negative experience about a product or service, but that doesn’t mean another customer will feel the same way.

Due to this, not all negative reviews can be considered bad when viewed from different customers’ perspectives.

To provide an example, a customer browsing reviews for a specific piece of clothing might find a negative review detailing that the product fits small.

To other customers, however, this might be viewed as a good thing.

Ultimately, a bad review that highlights a negative experience might not be viewed in the same way by other customers.

And in some cases, it can help customers make informed decisions about a product or service.

Positive Reviews Should Still Be Your Priority

Let’s face it: positive reviews will always be more favorable than negative reviews – despite the above ways that negative reviews can help your business. 

Overall, positive reviews have more benefits than negative reviews, which include improving reach and visibility, improving purchase decisions, generating trust and credibility, and, in general, making your business more appealing as a service that delivers.

Still, negative reviews are inevitable and collecting positive reviews is easier said than done.  

But what if there was a way to get more positive reviews while reducing the number of negative reviews?

ReputationStacker is a hands-off service that does this for you.

The system increases your chances of getting more reviews while allowing you to handle most negative customer feedback privately.

The result? More positive reviews and fewer negative reviews for your business while still being able to communicate with your customers and learn from what they are saying.


Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.


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