28 FEBRUARY 2019
Negative reviews; the new positive

Ellena Branke

Business Development

How to grow your business with negative reviews

It is impossible to please every customer in the way you’d like to. No matter how well you handle your business, it’s inevitable that you´ll encounter a negative review at some point. You may also perceive these reviews to be unfair, dangerous or a threat to your reputation. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  

The surprising truth is that negative reviews hold a number of benefits and they can help improve your business. Check out these 5 easy steps to get the most out of your negative reviews:

1. Check your reviews weekly
Be aware of all websites where customers are reviewing your company on the internet.

Add it to your weekly to-do list, to check and monitor what is being said about your business. Even better, ask review platforms to inform you as soon as a review gets published on your profile so you’re receiving updates in real time.

2.  Reply and invite
Interaction with online reviews is key.

Replying to all your reviews will show that you stand behind your business and are not afraid of a negative review. Reply in a professional manner and show your side of the story. Also, don’t forget to show your appreciation and reply to positive comments as well.

Invite recent clients to publish reviews, in order to build a true representation of your business. It goes without saying that people are more likely to write a review about a bad experience rather than a good one. So, be proactive and encourage satisfied customers to also share their positive experiences with your company.

3. Admit to mistakes
Honesty is the best policy.

Admitting your mistakes increases the trustworthiness of your business. Did you know that 95% of online consumers actually suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any bad scores? [i]

4. Take it offline
Consider approaching the consumer offline.

Taking the fight ‘out of the ring’ allows you to get a better understanding of why they posted a negative review and to move towards a solution. Often people just want to be heard, so better do this offline where it’s just between you and them in a constructive setting.

5. Don’t leave your reviews with an open ending
Consider online reviews as an opportunity for dialogue and to show how professional you are.

33% of customers will likely update their review once the conflict is solved. [ii] Once you have resolved an issue that’s linked to a review, comment on it with the measures you took to alleviate the problem. 

Negative reviews aren’t as bad as many of us think. There’s no doubt that they challenge our nature, but with the right approach they can actually help you support and grow a business.

Did you know that 88% of consumers base their purchase decision on online reviews? To find out more on how reviews can impact your business, check out our recent blog post “The Power of Reviews".

Ellena Branke

Business Development

[i] Reevoo (2015). Bad reviews are good for business. Retrieved from:
[ii] Reevoo, 13.

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