August 12, 2019 Jason

Making Negative Reviews Work for You

An interesting infographic from the folks at Fundera:

Making Negative Reviews Work for You

When it comes to running a business, online exposure is huge. With 57% of people only going to businesses that have at least four stars, positive online reviews are especially important. 

So, what are you to do about those negative reviews that inevitably crop up? Are those the end of your business as you know it, or is there any silver lining? Fortunately, these reviews can sometimes be golden opportunities to let your business shine. First, let’s look at the importance of online reviews.

Why Online Reviews Matter

There was a time when businesses could get away with running local ads in their paper or having someone with a sign stand on the corner. While those elements still play into your overall marketing strategy, online reviews are a must in this day and age.

While online reviews have a number of perks, some of the primary reasons you need them are: 

  • Consumers trust online reviews: When it comes to those 18-34, 91% of consumers trust online reviews as if they were a personal recommendation. No matter your target audience online reviews are important, but they’re especially important if you’re targeting Gen Z and Millennials.
  • Online reviews are essentially free advertising: With so many people reading and trusting online reviews, online reviews are basically free advertising. What’s more, online reviews can translate into word of mouth as well, further helping your brand.
  • Reviews influence how people see your brand: For those unaware of your brand or without personal experience with your company, reviews play a huge role in their perception of your brand. Tons of positive reviews can give people a great first impression, while the same is true for negative reviews.

Navigating Negative Reviews

With all the importance surrounding reviews, negative feedback is likely sounding like the last thing you’d want. In reality, there is a little bit of silver lining to negative reviews. While you ideally want glowing reviews for your company, negative reviews can help by:

  • Humanizing your brand: Positive reviews are great, but having only positive reviews can also lead people to question whether or not your reviews are fake. Some negative reviews, while a little painful, can signify that you are only human and your brand isn’t perfect.
  • Giving you a chance to prove yourself: Replying to negative reviews, in kind, can help you prove yourself and show the customer that you’re fully vested in them having a great experience. In some cases, you might even salvage that review and win the customer back over.
  • Showing to others you care: If you take the time to leave personal replies to negative reviews, you’re showing to potential customers that you’re a brand that cares. Absolutely avoid using any kind of canned response though, as those can do more harm than good in many cases.

Online reviews come in all shapes and sizes, from all kinds of people. No two reviews will be the same, but fortunately, there are some common threads when it comes to negative reviews. To help you navigate negative reviews, Fundera has created several personas that align with negative reviews. Use the below visual to learn how to make negative reviews work for you!


How Negative Online Reviews Can Improve Your Small Business

Infographic courtesy of



Article by Meredith Wood, Editor-in-Chief at Fundera:
Meredith Wood - Editor-in-Chief at FunderaMeredith Wood is the editor-in-chief at Fundera. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade, and is sought out frequently for her expertise in small business lending. Meredith’s advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, and more.

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