Should you be worried about negative reviews?

Published by Daisy on September 29, 2020

Every business out there wants five-star reviews. Positive reviews show customers that your business is trustworthy and provides an excellent quality service.

So, of course, those reviews are beneficial. However, that’s not to say that negative reviews can’t benefit your business either.

1 star review rating image. A man, blurred out in the background, is colouring in 1 star out of 5 on the screen.

Why you shouldn’t get rid of negative reviews:

According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. This means that a large majority of people who are searching online turn to reviews to decide whether to interact with a business.

When a business only has five-star reviews, this can look false and unrealistic, leading customers to distrust your business.

Fake and paid reviews have become a real issue, particularly with the number of businesses now offering incentives for reviews. So, don’t remove negative reviews posted on your business listings and website, as it may actually hinder your business reputation.

Use critical reviews to your advantage:

Again, negative reviews don’t have to damage your business reputation. You can actually use them to your advantage. By this we mean, don’t just respond to your positive reviews, also respond to those low-star reviews. This is because 45% of consumers are more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.

Replying to low-star reviews proves to customers that your business is attentive and cares about the customer experience. If a customer has had a bad experience with your business, the best thing you can do is to apologise and try to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

Negative reviews give you the perfect chance to highlight your brilliant customer service. So don’t miss out! Embrace those negative reviews.

Responding to each and every review you receive is very important. Especially considering so many consumers nowadays are reading the reviews section of your website and business listings. But, replying to every single review is a long and constant process.

To help you make this process easier, Vicinus has in-built Machine Learning-powered sentiment analysis. This technology, powered by Amazon Comprehend, gathers insights from your customer reviews and identifies emotions such as anger, sadness, happiness, shock and satisfaction.

With this data, you can better understand how your customers perceive your business.

Then, with the Vicinus review auto-responder tool you can create automated responses that correlate to the customer sentiment and given star rating.

This means that even when you are away from your computer, those reviews, both positive and negative, are still being dealt with and in a timely manner. Fast responses to reviews make all the difference.

Don’t believe us? See this data collected by Harvard Business Review.

Review Response Time Graph by HBR shows customers willing to pay more money next time they use a business if review response time is short.

Remember though, it is good to still dedicate a certain amount of time a week to respond personally to reviews also.

Sometimes that personal response can really change a customer’s opinion. In addition, certain situations may require a specific response.

Auto-respond and engage with customer reviews graphic. Graphic shows two cartoon people standing next to mobile phones typing and leaving comments.

Of course, not all reviews are helpful

Some customers will provide negative reviews which are not constructive. These reviews usually offer little feedback or points for improvement making it difficult for businesses to resolve the problem.

If you notice reviews that don’t seem to match up to the experience you provided or don’t give enough information, follow them up. Ask the reviewer to get in touch privately to discuss their issue.

This will allow you to investigate the experience and see whether the customer truthfully did have a negative experience.

No matter how unhelpful or critical reviews seem it is always best to reply in a professional but positive manner.

Obviously, if the review is unfactual, for example, they state you did nothing to resolve the problem, you can remind the customer of what you did.

For instance, if a customer says they had a long wait at your restaurant and poor customer service, in your response you could gently remind the customer that you warned them of the wait and sat them at the bar with a free drink to pass the time.

Nevertheless, always be polite and try to help the customer if you can. When you resolve customer problems, you are more likely to see them return. 

our Top tips for responding to negative reviews:
  • Be professional, apologetic and polite.
  • Try to get to the root of the issue as quickly as possible.
  • Provide the facts but don’t be defensive.
  • Show empathy.
  • Offer the customer a chance to get in touch with you privately.
  • Do everything you can to try to rectify the issue.
  • Offer solutions or refunds when appropriate.
A final piece of advice:

List your business on multiple platforms in order to increase reviews and receive more feedback – positive and negative reviews included. The more feedback you get, the more you can improve.

The negative reviews your business receives contain valuable information for your business. With this criticism, you can make changes to ensure your business succeeds.

Ultimately, if you are getting lots of negative reviews, perhaps reflect on the quality of the service you are providing.

Otherwise, it is healthy for your business to have some negative reviews. It can even help if you handle them right!

If you need help monitoring and responding to reviews or even just with getting your business on more review platforms, get in touch. Vicinus can help you build citations on multiple platforms and manage your reviews. Visit our website to learn more!

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