Have you ever chosen a restaurant based on the reviews only to discover that either the reviewers were out of their minds, or the restaurateur was clearly deleting the bad (and probably honest) reviews? Not only did you waste your time, your money, and your caloric intake, but you likely lost a little faith in your fellow man’s ability to provide you with trustworthy feedback to help guide your culinary journey.
Unfortunately this happens daily, and not just in the food industry.
We get it. It’s painful. No one wants to hear that they provided bad service, or a bad product. But with a little humility, those negative reviews can begin to do some really powerful things for your brand. Here are 5 reasons why negative reviews can actually move the needle in a positive direction.
It’s hard to trust a brand or product with only positive reviews
Amazon’s fake review problem proves this. An easy way to guess if an Amazon seller’s reviews are fake is if they’re all positive. If you curate your reviews to only be positive, your potential customers will assume you’re inauthentic, and deleting reviews. And they’re probably right. There’s already a trust gap between the average consumer and advertising; cutting anything that speaks even slightly poorly of your brand or product will only further that divide. But if you keep the negative ones, you’ll actually be building trust.
They help consumers narrow down choices
Simply put, there are a heck of a lot of things available to be purchased. On one hand, it’s awesome, because choices are nice. But it’s also ridiculously overwhelming, and when it feels like you’re going to be forced to just close your eyes and pick one, reviews can make a world of a difference.
Negative reviews make your products better
Sometimes really great brands create products that just aren’t great. And that’s okay. What sets those brands apart from the rest is their ability to humbly accept the criticism, innovate quickly, turn around the issues, and produce a better product. Take this review for example.
Some brands might be hesitant to allow something that detracts from their product, but if viewed as intended, this brand could recognize that they created a good product with just a few needed tweaks. This isn’t just a review — this is incredible feedback to help you improve.
Bad reviews are an opportunity to prove you care
Some companies are complete rockstars when it comes to customer service. The ones that stand out have two things in common: they go above-and-beyond in helping their customers and they’re willing to accept when they’ve screwed up. We all learned this as little kids when accidentally pushing your friend over into the bark chips: say you’re sorry and offer a hand.
One person’s negative is another person’s positive
Next time you shop online, take notice of your behavior as you make your decision. Let’s say you need a new pair of boots you can wear to work. Do you peruse the materials? Look at the photos on and off the model? What about the reviews — which ones do you read? Believe it or not, 85% of consumers consider negative reviews when making a final decision. Why? Because what might be a dealbreaker for one person is in fact perfectly acceptable for someone else. In the scenario where you’re shoe shopping, you notice multiple negative reviews stating that the area around the middle of the foot tends to stretch out. If you have a narrow foot like I do, then this boot is not for you. But if you have a freakishly wide foot like my husband, then stretching in that area is EXACTLY what you need.
Being humble about where you can improve isn’t easy, and allowing it to be viewed by anyone can feel scary. By embracing need for improvement, and acting upon it properly, you’ll come out ahead — not just in sales, but in perception, too. And while one product might not be the right fit for the customer, if they had a positive experience with how you accepted their negative feedback, chances are good they’ll be back to try again.