3 Ways to Turn Negative Reviews Into Online Business Growth

It is undeniable that positive reviews are greatly beneficial for any business. An increase in sales, online traffic and boost in client acquisitions are just a few examples of the many benefits that positive feedback can bring. However, what is the role that negative reviews play on the reputation of your business? Typically, companies are afraid that those reviews can have undesired effect on their reputation, and put them at risk of losing clients or potential customers.

Did you know that negative reviews can have a positive effect on improving the credibility and transparency of your business?

Also negative reviews can help create trust in potential clients. As you already know, establishing trust with future consumers is not always an easy task. In addition, negative reviews can bring very relevant insights that can help grow your business and get you one step ahead of your competitors. You will also be surprised at the positive relationship between negative reviews and sales.

That is why we at eKomi have decided to write an article where we can show the positive impacts of negative reviews in your online business. So instead of being afraid of these negative reviews, you can take advantage of them and improve the credibility of your online business by using the reviews to detect valuable insights for growing your business.

Want to improve your business? Start ask proactively your clients for reviews today! Book a demo and we will set you up!

Let’s face it, every single business gets negative reviews, but how can they help you instil trust in potential clients?


The first thing you need to know is that negative reviews are a common occurrence and having some among positive feedback can bring a lot of benefits. Firstly negative reviews provide authenticity to your business and information how best to improve your service and/or product. No one can ever say they have not made a mistake in their life, but that is not the problem. The problem is repeating the same mistake, or in your case, doing what inspires constant negative reviews until they represent the majority of your overall reviews. So don’t be afraid if a client was not satisfied with your service or product, but make sure you learn from it, so then the next client is satisfied with your service or product.

Bill Tancer mentions in his book, Everyone’s a Critic: Winning Customers in a Review-Driven World, that:

Bad reviews happen.

It is possible that a product with positive reviews is going to be in more demand than one with negative reviews. But the role of negative reviews is not strictly devoted to increasing sales, but also in creating trust from the readers. According to Bill Tancer, negative reviews are valuable in lending overall credibility to a business’s review page. Even negative reviews can drive business growth. He mentions a very interesting research study conducted by UK software company, Reevoo, where it was pointed out that consumers actively seek out negative reviews. Some relevant findings from this study stated, Consumers spend four times as long on sites when they read bad reviews, and purchase 67 percent more than the population as a whole. The study also found that 68 percent of consumers trust the reviews they read when they see both good and bad reviews that 95 percent of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative reviews.

Nowadays, consumers are doing research before deciding to buy a product. Particularly in e-commerce, where the only resource that consumers have is the store’s website. Thus, it is through this search of information when negative reviews become elemental for the consumer’s buying decision process. Negative reviews not only provide information about a product or service, but they also transmit transparency. This helps to improve the credibility of an online business. It is because of negative reviews, that it’s possible to banish fears and mistrust from potential clients.

As mentioned on a SMX West Keynote: How to get Critical Online Reviews in Today’s Social Economy, the reason why consumers are so interested in reading negative reviews is because negative comments cause the readers to believe more in the positive reviews of a product and/or service. There is nothing wrong with showing negative reviews in the review page because they help to establish a business that transmits credibility and trust.

Bad reviews as a source of new ideas to grow your business.  

Negative reviews are so valuable that they are not only a good source of trust for the consumers and future clients, but are also a good source of information itself. Steve Olenski mentions in his article, 6 Ways To Take Advantage Of Negative Reviews:

View criticism as an opportunity

There is no need to fear negative reviews. In fact, they are extremely important. Negative reviews can bring to your attention what your clients are not satisfied with regarding your product and/or service. By giving you negative reviews, your clients are often implicitly stating what can be improved in your business. Negative feedback can help you with new ideas, thus helping you become more innovative about the product and/or service that you offer.

Sediarreda is an online furniture shop based in Italy and an eKomi client. In a recent interview with the owner, she stated the following with respect to her experience with negative reviews.

Knowing how to deal with the weaknesses of your product or service is not easy, but once you have realised that understanding those negative aspects is important, as it allows you to criticise your own service or product, you will be able to have more competitive products or services in the market.

It is very important to be alert to what your clients are saying. Those claims and complaints are what will help you improve and develop your business and attract new clients.  

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Dealing with negative reviews and protecting your online reputation.

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Both negative and positive reviews have a direct impact on your online reputation. With that said in order to not only not hurt your online reputation but also improve it a good strategy to utilise when dealing with negative reviews is to have a dialogue with the clients who have left bad reviews on the review page. It is recommended to address clients who leave a 2-star or 1-star review, as it shows extra attention from the business side. When opening a dialogue with unsatisfied clients, the business can write private or public messages to the client to resolve any issue that may have prompted their negative review. While all of the reviews are published regardless of their star rating and will remain published, it is recommended on the Business Know How´s article, How to Manage Social Media Complaints, that a good strategy is to reply publicly to negative reviews, as it shows your attention to your unsatisfied clients. It can also show your interest in finding a solution that satisfies your customer, by showing how you publicly deal with complaints and how important those complaints are for your business.

Negative reviews are not only meant to cause you trouble; they are valuable and powerful for every single business, even the biggest ones. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept negative reviews, but remember to take those claims and complaints from your clients into consideration. These complaints will allow you to be the most competitive business in the market and will help your business create trust in future clients. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. Instead, you should be afraid of not valuing them enough, as they can be incredibly helpful tools necessary for growing your business.

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