What do I do with negative reviews?


It’s going to happen.  You are going to upset someone and they will want to let everyone to know about it.  There is a saying that goes along the lines of:

It takes years to earn a client but only moments to lose one.

You may have done nothing at all wrong in your eyes, but that doesn’t matter.  The words have been written and now you have to deal with the impact.  You really only have 2 choices:

A) Ignore the negative review and do nothing

B) Turn that negative review into a tool to help Boost your sales

Boost my sales?  With a negative review??  How’s that gonna work???!?

Listed here are 4 ways that I am going to provide to you to use those negative reviews to help boost your sales.


1) Reach Out

If you see that someone has posted a negative review, one way to help use it to your advantage is to reach out to the reviewer (always in a professional way) and see what you can do to rectify the situation.  You may feel that you have done absolutely nothing wrong, but you have to put your view aside and see the situation from your client’s side.  It’s their opinion that something didn’t go quite as planned and you will never know what happened unless you ask.

In speaking with the client, it may be a very simple fix on your side of thing that can turn the situation around.  This is simple customer service and works especially well if the negative review was posted in a public location (review website, facebook, twitter, etc) because it shows other would be clients that you are willing to work to make things right.

2) Ride With It

You’ve got some great items listed on Amazon (or other retail sites – or perhaps even on your own site) and someone writes that your exercise weight is the goofiest exercise device ever created.  Remember the Shake Weight from 2009?  Yeah, the one that makes folks look like they are… well.. you know.  That negative review actually helped them to boost their sales to over $40 million dollars by 2010, less than a year later!  They embraced the goof and made commercials featuring the exaggerated moves!  Can you imagine turning a negative review into one that helps net you $40 million dollars?

3) Build Trust

Someone that is infallible is hiding something.  If someone does not make a mistake then they are generally good at hiding their mistakes and it will eventually come out to bite them at some point.  No, you shouldn’t find a way to incite a negative review, but know that if you get one, it’s not going to be the end of the world.  Instead of letting it get you down, use it to build trust with all of your customers.  If you genuinely messed up, admit it.  Use that mess up and let your clients know that you messed up and that you learned from your mistake.  That builds trust in your brand.  We are all human and we can all be forgiven.  Hardin Creative Consulting has made it fair share of mistakes over the years, but we will never hide from them because we want to build off of them.

Companies that only have positive reviews can be seen as disingenuous, are all of those positive reviews fake?  Are they written by the people that built the business?  Haven’t they ever made a mistake?  Are they deleting the bad reviews?  What else are they hiding?  Having a healthy mix of both good and bad reviews, simply put, can build trust.

4) Transform the Negative

The best case scenario is to transform that negative review into a positive testimonial.  We’ve got several top notch testimonials that we have worked hard to get, but not all started out as something positive.  We’ve certainly made some mistakes but it’s what we did to turn it around that mattered.  If you can go above and beyond to show your client your human side and are willing to work with them, turning that negative review into something positive will always be a blessing.