Leveraging the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Customer Reviews

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Customer reviews can be somewhat of a double-edged sword. Good reviews are obviously ideal, and allow your consumers to provide testimony to other potential customers about the effectiveness of your product. On the other hand, bad reviews may make a business want to remove the option to review altogether. 

However, what if it were possible to leverage those bad reviews in order to turn your product offerings around and present an image focused on customer service? 

Bad reviews do not necessarily spell doom for your business. By recognizing the opportunity to leverage the good, bad, and ugly of customer reviews, you can make the most of your online presence.

The Bad and the Ugly:

Let’s start with the bad. Bad customer reviews may be very troubling to other customers, and especially the business itself. A business may create what they believe is a perfect product, but if customers do not see it that way, the negative reviews will flood in. 

Though there is no doubt that negative reviews are undesirable, they do provide a unique opportunity for a business to spin a negative into a positive. 

Recognize Potential Problems

First, negative reviews provide brutally honest feedback from your customers. If they are unhappy, you will hear exactly why that is. A few negative reviews amongst a large group of positive reviews is nothing to worry about, but overwhelmingly negative reviews are indicative of an internal problem. From those negative reviews, you can determine what needs to be improved and how you can go about making that change. In fact, customers themselves may offer suggestions on how to improve, which you can look to in your research. 

Showcase Good Customer Service

Additionally, negative reviews provide an opportunity to respond to the customer in an effort to make the situation right. 

If you notice a customer complaining about a product functioning incorrectly, or not working in the way it is intended to, you can offer to troubleshoot the problem with them via email or phone, or even send them a replacement product. 

Customers who see that you care about your product will be more willing to purchase from your business because should anything go wrong with their product, you would likely provide them the same opportunity to make it right. 

A negative review accompanied by an immediate call to action from the company shows the integrity of the brand, and allows the business to showcase their customer service. 

Win Them Back

Last, customers who negatively reviewed a product several years ago may return to update a review in light of changes. If you read the reviews, and made adjustments to correct the problems, the product may now be exactly what your customers were hoping for the first time around. 

There will then be an upward trend in the ratings which demonstrate that the prior negative reviews are likely less relevant today since the business heard the feedback and responded accordingly. 

A business may even wish to reference that they have changed the product in order to meet customer expectations which could allow a business to reinvent the product and separate it from the past negativity. 

Overall, the negative customer review can be corrected, and the correction can demonstrate your customer service model and integrity in a way that positive reviews do not often allow for.

The Good:

Good customer reviews are truly the holy grail of customer feedback. They legitimize the products you are selling and can be key to conversion rates.

It is easy to see why a customer would be inclined to let a business know if they’re unhappy, but satisfied customers are often much more quiet.

Therefore, when a customer is so happy with your product, they feel compelled to let the world know, you can be sure that your business is doing something right. 

To leverage this kind of feedback your business can do several things. 

Show Your Appreciation

First, don’t just focus on replying to negative reviews, make sure you thank the positive reviews as well! Let the people know how much you appreciate the time they took to review your product. 

You can even build on this idea by reaching out to the people who are providing positive reviews in order to obtain a client testimonial from them.

Follow-up Emails

Additionally, your business may wish to solicit more reviews with follow-up emails that come after a customer makes a purchase. The email with an invitation to review can make it painless for a customer to take the time to provide a review, and there is no reason why a satisfied customer would not want to share their positive experience with your business, especially when you make it so easy for them. 

Call Attention to Them

Positive reviews from actual customers are the most legitimate way to market your product. If you find that some reviews are exceptionally great, you should call as much attention to them as possible. 

One possible way to do this is to include the best of the best in customer reviews in with the product description. Customers who otherwise may have ignored the reviews will instead find them hard to ignore, and they will be included among the other most essential information. 


When 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has reviews, the importance of including this feature in your eCommerce site cannot be ignored. 

Customer feedback is much more authentic than canned marketing ploys, and both the positive and negative reviews can be highly valuable to your business. 

Make sure that you are hearing what is being said, and responding accordingly in order to leverage the good, the bad, and the ugly of customer reviews. 

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