How to Deal with Negative Reviews and Turn Them into Something Positive

ecommerce negative reviews

As a new owner of a budding ecommerce store, there is nothing more terrifying than getting that first negative review. No matter what platform you use, at some point you will get a negative review. As humans, we prefer positive feedback instead of critique, however, as a business owner, one is just as important as the other. While it might sound weird, you will come to appreciate the negative reviews just as much as the positive reviews. In this article I will look at some of the things you can do in order to make a negative review a positive experience for both you and your customers.

First, let us start off with a few Do's and Don'ts when dealing with negative reviews. No one likes negative reviews, in fact, most people do not likes criticism in general. It is however important to remember a few rules when dealing with negative reviews, especially in a business situation.


Show respect when replying

When dealing with negative reviews, it is very easy to lose your cool and reply with a snarky and mean comment. However, it is very important that you respond to negative reviews in a  professional manner. Apologize if you made a mistake, resist the temptation to pick an argument or try to prove the client was wrong about their comment.

Acknowledge if you made a mistake

If you made a mistake and deserve the negative review, then man up to it and acknowledge the fact that you made a mistake, we are all humans, and we all make mistakes. Remember that even a negative review means the customer took the time to leave a comment, and chances are if they even bother leaving a comment, then their comment is worth at least reading.

Engage personally

There is nothing worse than leaving a review on a website only to get a standardized “Your comment is very valuable to us”. If a person leaves a review, whether it be positive or negative, you should spend the time to respond personally. If a customer had a bad experience with your customer service, then comment on that, say something along the lines of “We are very sorry to hear you had a negative experience with our customer service”, that way the customer will feel as if they have been heard.


Do not fake positive reviews

While it might seem very tempting to fake positive reviews to make it seem as if the negative reviews were just a once in a blue moon occurrence, this is a very bad idea and could come back to haunt you in the future. If your customers realize you are faking reviews, then you will lose all credibility and they will most likely look elsewhere to do their shopping.

Do not delete negative reviews

Similar to what I mentioned above, while it might be very tempting to simply make the negative reviews a thing of the past by deleting them, I really advise against this method. If a client leaves a negative review and then check back after a while and sees you have deleted the review, then chances are they are not going to be recommending your store to their friends.

Do not argue with the reviewer

There is a saying in any business environment that the customer is always right, even if they are wrong the customer is always right. Even if it might seem like a good idea to argue with the customer and try to convince them they are wrong, this is a really bad idea. Firstly, engaging in an argument with a reviewer makes you look bad in front of the rest of your customers, and secondly, if you keep responding to a negative review, then all you are really doing is highlighting this particular review.

Using a negative review for something positive

While it might seem difficult to comprehend how a negative review can be turned into something positive, just bear with me for a moment. I am sure you will quickly realize that you can learn just as much about your business from a negative review as from a positive review, if not even more.

Think of negative reviews as a form of consultants, in other words, you need to see every negative comment as a way for you to improve your business. The first thing you need to do is look through the reviews and see if you can find a common denominator, in essence you are looking for a recurring theme. If all your negative reviews states there is a problem with your checkout system, then chances are this is an area you need to examine. If all clients are complaining about your product photos being fuzzy, then perhaps it is time to upload some higher quality product photos.

If you need other tips and suggestions on running your own ecommerce store, then you should really read my article with 293 amazing tips for ecommerce websites. If you have any other suggestions for dealing with negative reviews, then feel free to leave a comment below.

Feature image curtsey of FATbit Technologies



Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.