Customers Look For The Dirt On Your Business – Use That!


Research compiled by PowerReviews with Northwestern University, says that 82% of shoppers “…specifically seek out negative reviews” of a business.

I know that’s disheartening… We all have that one or two customers that just can’t be pleased, and they have a knack for ranting on your social media. It happens! Literally every business has at least a few negative reviews. And it’s ok! It’s what you do about it that matters.

So what should you do about it? Be diligent, and use it to your advantage, with these tactics:

Turn Dirt Into Gravy!

The idea is simple. If shoppers are looking for dirt, you’ll need to address any that exists in a way that will improve your reputation.

Often shoppers will read the 1 star reviews first.

Find the 1 Star reviews and answer them in a way that would make prospective customers comfortable with doing business with you. Make sure you check often and respond to ALL negative reviews. A negative review with no response is a sign of indifference, which will motivate the future decisions of that disgruntled customer and will give potential customers a negative impression.

The key is in how you respond to what they have posted.

If you suspect a negative review is fake, try to get it removed. Though depending on the platform, this is sometimes impossible. So instead of calling out the review as fake. Offer something that will wow readers, like a 150% refund or a free gift. This will accomplish 2 things:

  1. If the review is phony, you won’t lose anything, because the review is false and there is no transaction to refund.

  2. If the review is real, the disgruntled customer may reach out to you and give you an opportunity to correct the situation, and possibly remove the bad review or have a positive follow up. Make sure you keep your promise and honor the refund or else they will continue to attack you and it will further affect your reputation.

For all other negative reviews, remember to take a deep breath before responding. It may be infuriating to see someone bash your company, or employees, but take some time to calm down and collect your thoughts. Don’t lash out at the customer. Instead, think about what impact this response will have on other customers. Remember your original vision for your company, did you want to be the best, most customer friendly, professional and successful business out there? Of course you did! Remember that vision, and respond accordingly. Wow them with customer service!

Bottom Line: Reviews are Critical

We know everyone reads reviews, and they are a huge component in a customer’s shopping decision. But, there are times when reviews are even more important:

Reviews are make or break when the purchase price is high.

Reviews are paramount when your company is brand new, or you are creating a new product or brand.

Reviews are crucial when consumer safety is a concern (think child products or nutritional supplements).

Longer (word count) and more detailed reviews are more influential than shorter ones.

With shorter reviews, there need to be a lot more five star reviews to garner trust.


Negative reviews are unavoidable, but the detrimental effects of negative reviews can be minimized. A business’s response to negative reviews is critical, and hopefully this article on how to respond to negative reviews has given you a great starting point.

Has your business had some experience dealing with negative reviews?  If so, I’d love to hear from you about your experience…please leave a comment below. We’ll feature the best examples on the Podcast!