It’s not something any business ever wants: a bad review. But it is possible to turn a negative review into a positive outcome.

In fact, studies show that negative reviews actually aren’t nearly as bad as they seem — and they may even be profitable! According to a study by RevooBlog, customers spend more than five times as long on a site when they interact with bad reviews, they trust the reviews they see far more, and they convert nearly 85% more often.


Even though a couple of lackluster reviews may up your trust-factor substantially, it doesn’t mean you should let them pile up. Here are four actionable ways to use a negative review to your advantage:


  1. It provides valuable insight. What about your product or service does your customer find frustrating? Perhaps it’s something that others aren’t happy with as well. Feedback like this can change the way you do business, helping guide necessary tweaks to your product or beneficial adjustments to logistics.
  2. It can open the door to customer communication. The worst thing you can do is ignore negative feedback. There’s a lot to gain by facing it head-on and working directly with a disgruntled customer. A study by Harris found that of 68% of customers who left a negative response heard back from the company, and 18% of them became loyal customers who made repeat purchases. And, for those customers who received a response, 33% followed up with a positive review and 34% deleted the original negative one!
  3. It offers a chance to show you care about customer concerns. The way you handle a negative review isn’t just helpful to the affected customer, but it also shows other potential clients how seriously you take your commitment to customer service. A quick, helpful response serves as a lasting example for future buyers.
  4. It doesn’t have to be about you to be helpful. It’s also important to note that your company’s negative reviews aren’t the only ones you should be paying attention to; negative reviews about direct competitors can be equally beneficial. Peruse your competitors’ social media pages to see what their customers are saying — and to see if you’re avoiding their same mistakes!


When you see negative reviews in these positive terms, you may actually be thankful to have a couple under your belt! After all, it’s not always about how many you have, but how you handle them that counts. Take time today to react to and use your negative reviews to your advantage, and you’ll be taking the first step to reducing their frequency in the future!