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The Positive Side of a Negative Review

by Adrienne Weissman  |  
June 3, 2016
  |  1,969 views

Reviews play a key role in a buyer's selection process. A total of 70% of Americans look at reviews before they make a purchase, according to an American Lifestyles report. Those customers are looking at all types of reviews─even the negative ones. (You probably do the same.)

In fact, buyers who seek out negative reviews are 67% more likely to convert to a purchase than the average consumer, according to a Revoo study. Those highly engaged buyers stay on pages longer and view nearly 4X as many products as the average visitor because they're conducting extensive research.

Why Bad Reviews Can Be Good

The thought of getting negative reviews makes many businesses nervous. However, negative reviews can be a good thing.

Critical reviews generate interest in your company. For example, we know that G2 Crowd users click on the less-than-positive reviews two-and-a-half times more frequently than positive ones. (Full disclosure: I'm the CMO at G2 Crowd.)


You might think that's not the kind of attention you want to share. However, 68% of people trust a company's reviews more when they see bad ones mixed in with the good. That expresses the reality of most products─not every product is good for everyone. And it provides your company the opportunity to evaluate your perceived weaknesses and address them.

Critical reviews can provide valuable insight. When reviews are attributed and authentic, they help you build trust and engagement with your prospects. A recent Harris study found that 18% of people became loyal repeat customers after they received a brand's response to their negative feedback.

The perception is that brands that engage with customers after negative feedback are attempting to work with their customers and address the issue. A lot of the time those issues are actually a communication breakdown and are easily fixed.


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Adrienne Weissman is chief marketing officer of peer-to-peer business review platform G2 Crowd.

LinkedIn: Adrienne Weissman

Twitter: @G2Adrienne

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  • by Vicki Fri Jun 3, 2016 via web

    This is great. As an insurance company, my employer gets a fair amount of bad reviews (mostly from people who were denied claims). Part of my job is to respond to all of them. Sometimes, it's just a misunderstanding, or something that can easily be cleared up through direct human interaction. At minimum, it shows other potential customers that we pay attention.

    We also respond to all superior reviews, as well as any review that seems to warrant a comment. If a customer takes the time to write out a great review for you, they really liked your business!

  • by David Boutin Fri Jun 3, 2016 via web

    Great post! Next time I have to talk a client off the ledge because they got a bad review, I'll just send them a link to this post :)

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