Why Negative Reviews Are Valuable Too

By: Clarabridge Team

August 5, 2015

by Sofie De Beule, Community Manager at Engagor 

Why should you pay attention to negative reviews? How can they be instrumental in helping to grow your business?

Nowadays, its so easy for one wrong move to permanently damage your reputation. All it takes is one complaint or negative review going viral in a matter of hours (or even minutes) to create major issues that could bury your brand in months of damage control.

However, negative reviews in general don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. You can easily turn them to your advantage by being open to the input of your customers and willing to do something with that feedback. And yes, especially when it’s negative.

The first step in tackling negative complaints is to provide seamless customer service that nurtures a pleasant customer experience.

To put this all into perspective, let’s take a look at three reasons why negative reviews are valuable:

1. (Negative) Reviews Make a Brand More Human

Negative reviews make a brand more human and prove that imperfections are just as much a part of business life as they are of life in general.

After all, who is interested in or trusts ‘perfect’ people or brands? Perfection is difficult to aspire to and impossible to obtain. Often times if upon first glance something or someone seems perfect, it feels like they’re hiding something.

People nowadays want to engage with brands that are authentic.

2. It’s Okay to Not Be the Best at Everything

It’s okay that your brand doesn’t fulfill every single need of all the brands that are currently on the market. As a brand, you need to choose a focus, and determine how you can make your product stand apart from your competitors. In choosing that specific angle, that little nuance that’s going to set you apart from the rest, it’s impossible to be great at everything. If you try to be, you will often find yourself disappointed with the results.

Did you know there’s one thing that almost all successful companies have in common? They make it company policy to satisfy their customers. Why not make it yours too? So if you’re dealing with an angry customer, think about extending a courtesy such as a refund or free shipping on their next order.

Useful Tip

Make it a rule to reply to each review, good or bad. Each complaint needs to be taken seriously. Carefully manage your response, and make sure you have a template prepared for each type of complaint/scenario (e.g. product deficiency, failed delivery, poor service, etc.) so that you’re not second guessing yourself.

3. Learn From Feedback

Don’t see negative feedback from customers as an attempt to ruin your business or your reputation, but instead, choose to focus on what you can do to improve your business. Learn from what your competitors are doing right so that you can learn what you’re doing wrong. Customers always like to compare your product with competitors, so it’s best to take full advantage of it.

Let’s be honest, receiving praise for how awesome your product is is great and gives you some extra encouragement you might just need. But, if there’s one thing you can actually learn from, it’s negative feedback about your product. Today, it has become a lot easier to capture negative buzz about your brand and products, so why not use it to adjust your product offering?

To capture both negative and positive reviews, invest in a service that allows you to monitor feedback across multiple platforms making it easier to track what’s being said about your brand online.

This post originally appeared on the Engagor blog on May 13, 2015; head to Engagor to continue reading.