How to Get Online Reviews and Deal with the Bad Ones

Posted on February 10, 2017

Getting customer reviews can be invaluable to your product success. Reviews generate buzz, which can help increase your sales and build customer loyalty. A good review is worth its weight in gold however, bad reviews can haunt your business for a long time.

Product Reviews

Over 90% of customers report reading reviews to form purchasing decisions and 40% form opinions after reading only a few reviews. And 88% will have formed complete decisions after reading 10 reviews. After this point, customer interest drops off sharply, and most customers will not ready any more reviews.

Business Reviews and Rankings

For businesses, understanding customer reviews is equally important as understanding product review behavior. Many customers rely on online searches and page reviews, so having a stellar online presence is crucial. Star ratings, particularly are a popular metric for easily scan able reviews, with 94% of customers reporting that they would use a business with a four-star rating.

However, at one star down from that – three stars – only 57% of customers would give the business a chance. The difference is stark, and this single star could cost a business to lose almost half of its potential customer base – before they even put down their cell phones or log off of their computers.

Encouraging Reviews

While some customers will leave reviews out of the kindness of their own hearts, often the only type of organically generated reviews are negative. In order to get a better representation and a good balance of reviews, you need to put in a little bit of effort.

Get Yourself/Your Business Out There

One of the most important things is to get your name out there, so that customers have a place to leave their reviews. Third-party sites, like Yelp, attract review seekers and are an absolute must if your business has a physical location.

Other third party review sites may apply better to your industry, so it’s worth looking into sites where your competitors are listed to get a good idea of where you may wish to direct your customers to review your business and improve your ratings.

Ask for Reviews

Once you’ve made a sale, don’t be shy to follow up with your customer and ask them about their experience. Not only is this important for retaining customers and driving repeat business, but it adds another dimension of personalization to the purchasing experience.

Whether you ask for a review or not, you should be in touch to inquire about the customer service experience and to keep your name fresh in your customers’ minds. But these follow up emails are the perfect time to ask for a review. Even a simple “how did you like your product?” with a link to your product page’s review section can get the idea across.

Reaching out in this fashion is more likely to generate reviews that sitting back and hoping that they come about organically. It is also a great way to get candid feedback about ways that you can better reach your demographic and tailor your products or customer service to better meet customer needs.

Negative Reviews

The fact of the matter is that you will end up with both satisfied and dissatisfied customers. Hopefully the satisfied will outweigh the dissatisfied by a long shot. But in the event of bad reviews, you must be quick to act and maintain your cool.

Shoppers report that they are unlikely to shop at or purchase from businesses that receive bad reviews and do nothing about them. You need to monitor your review sites – whether that’s on your own page(s) or on a third party page – and work to reduce the impact of negative reviews.

Handling Dissatisfied Customers

Deleting negative reviews that don’t contain offensive or blatantly untrue facts and information is never a good idea. It can even get you removed from certain platforms, depending on how often you weed out the bad reviews.

The best way to handle unhappy customers is to listen to their complaints and offer real solutions – not just platitudes or vague apologies. Some of this should be public, especially when it comes to addressing specific points that they make in their review.

But there’s a part of the process that might be better off contained to a personal email, perhaps one that offers a percentage off of a future purchase or a return option for a product they hate. Even though you may want your audience at large to see your goodwill, your dissatisfied customer may be more inclined to give you another try with personalized service that’s not just for show.


You work hard to deliver quality products and services to your customers, and your customers show their appreciation – or disdain – for your brand by providing reviews. Generating positive feedback and working through the negative will make your brand stronger and help your business to look more attractive to potential customers.

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