Negative online reviews can be unsettling, but they’re not the end of the world. According to a recent study, consumers tend to choose products that have a greater number of reviews, even if those products are rated lower overall. In other words, it’s often more about the perceived popularity of the brand than how many stars it’s earned.

Of course, positive reviews are still better. Research shows that most consumers form an opinion of your brand after reading just four reviews, so you want to make a good first impression. But if you do happen to receive negative feedback, this presents a valuable opportunity to improve your product and bolster the perception of your brand online.

Learning From Negative Feedback

Negative reviews are inevitable and often unwarranted. However, consistent patterns in client complaints can offer insight into the effectiveness of your products and services.

Never make a rash decision based on negative feedback, but always consider the validity of the complaint and how you could improve your service moving forward. Failing to consider and react to common complaints can make your brand seem indifferent and out of touch.

Responding to Negative Feedback

It’s important to monitor the conversation surrounding your brand, whether it be on social media or industry review sites, and to post a timely response.

Never reply with anger or become drawn into a game of one-upmanship. Instead, proceed with care. If possible, look into the transaction or incident in question before responding. Address specifics and apologize for any shortcomings on your part. Focus on service and offer solutions.

Remember, professionalism is key. Quick, genuine responses show reviewers — and potential buyers — that you care about the client experience and are interested in building strong, long-term client relationships.