How Customer Feedback Can Harm Your Business and What You Can Do about It

Published:   Last Updated: May 28, 2019

Are customers’ reviews really important? The answer is definitely yes! With the appearance of online feedback platforms, customers’ reviews have become a significant asset not only for B2C but also to B2B companies.

82% of American adults read online reviews before purchase

Only imagine how fast online reviews spread on the web, and how much damage just one negative review can cause. According to MOZ statistics, businesses risk losing 22% of customers when just one negative review is placed.

In this article, you will learn how you can deal with negative reviews and what are the ways to eliminate the damaging effect caused by them.

Why are bad reviews so destructive?

As Warren Buffett once said:

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Once you consider these words, you’ll understand why negative reviews have such an immense impact.

There are lots of damaging effects of negative reviews, and the most serious ones are:

  1. Damaged company (brand) reputation;
  2. Decrease of purchases and conversions;
  3. Drop of customer LTV (lifetime value);
  4. Lost of profits.

Unhappy customers are typically more vocal than neutral or satisfied, and most users tend to read negative reviews first to avoid possible mistakes. The good thing is that the impact of negative reviews can be eliminated if you take immediate actions.

Dealing with negative customer feedback

No matter how great is your product and the level of customer service, there can be a point when you get a negative review.  Not everyone will be satisfied with your product or services, and there’s no reason to panic when you see a dissatisfied customer’s opinion.

Negative Feedback

Be proactive

If your company is able to identify dissatisfied customers and their issues, you can prevent negative reviews from going online. Acknowledge and value customers’ opinions and make sure that their experiences get heard. Never delete or ignore users complaints.

It’s important to always respond to these reviews and do everything you can to fix the issue and improve the customer experience.


Always check and keep track of mentions of your company online – on social media, Google, and different sites dedicated to reviews like TrustPilot or Yelp. Know what people think about your products or services, so you can always find a room for improvement.

If you have trouble keeping up with the incoming information or organization of mentions, try using specialized customer feedback software to keep track of the brand mentions automaticaly.

Always respond

The speed of reaction defines your brand’s reputation and shows customers that you appreciate their input and concerns.

89% of customers read businesses' responses to reviews

Clients often leave requests, suggestions, and questions in reviews, but don’t receive any response. This leaves them disappointed and will most likely make them leave your brand for a more responsive competitor of yours.

Thus, analyze all requests and try your best to meet customers’ expectations. Even if you can’t meet their requirements, they shouldn’t be ignored.

React ASAP

Quick responses show how much you care about your customers and want to help. Always try to respond to in 30 minutes or less. Make sure your responses are respectful and helpful. In case you cannot address the issue immediately, send a brief message like: “I’ll look into it and get back to you soon.”

Since a customer contacted support, they will only consider no reply or long wait time as bad customer experience.

Provide self-service

Customers always appreciate the ability to fix problems or answer commonly asked questions on their own.  

Self-service resources, such as Knowledge Base or auto responders, empower customers to fix minor issues on their own and give your customer service team less work.

Self-service is the most cost-effective and fastest way to help and support customers.

Use negative feedback to your advantage

Reviews help companies ensuring their future customers have a better experience. Negative customer feedback helps identify the areas where you need to improve. If your clients are only leaving you positive reviews, you can’t really benefit from them. This may be because you are asking the wrong questions, or need to create conditions where your clients can leave anonymous feedback and votes.

Turn detractors into promoters

As mentioned above, unhappy customers tend to be more vocal than delighted ones. Word of mouth is very powerful, and dissatisfied customers often have a message that is way far-reaching.

Turning detractors into promoters requires the brand to be proactive and be the first to ask about the customer’s experience and always tend to improve it.Ask your customers to leave votes for the requests they’d like the most or monitor similar complaints to see the areas of improvement.


No company can avoid bad reviews on the internet, but they sure can benefit from them in various ways. This can be done by engaging customers, asking for their opinions, replying fast, and making it clear that customers opinions matter. A single comment can help receive astonishing ideas for new or improving existing products, outstanding marketing campaigns, or tech solutions that your company never even considered before.

Don’t let negativity stop you from improving!

Anna Kuzma

Anna Kuzma is Marketing Manager at UseResponse, company specialized in the development of Customer Support and Feedback software. Writes about customer experience and satisfaction, Help Desk and Feedback Software.

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