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We will use this space to share with you the latest developments on what we do at Youstice. We will also invite various experts to speak their mind about a number of topics, such as online dispute resolution, as well as the latest trends in issue management, e-commerce and technology, among others.

How To Use Negative Feedback to Your Benefit

Negative reviews and annoyed “rants” from angry customers on social media happen every day. Rather than feeling depressed about less than favorable opinions, let's look at some facts and data that argue that your e-shop can actually benefit from the negative feedback.

Six ways to benefit from negative feedback:

1. When nobody knows your name, all publicity is good publicity. Starting a new e-shop from scratch is hard. One of the biggest challenges is getting your name out there to the public ear. According to the 2011 study, the worst possible review on local business review and social networking site Yelp can lead to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue. However, this doesn't mean simple one-star reviews will make your business bloom - research shows customers respond more strongly when a rating contains more detailed information.1

Another example: let's say you're trying to sell books. A good review increases sales from 32% to 52%. A bad review of established author can cause a drop of about 15%. But for books of lesser-known authors, a bad review can cause quite a significant rise of 45% on average.2 Now, that isn't all that bad, is it?

2. Customer is the best tester of your product. Customer - unlike your supplier - has no reason to provide you with incomplete information. There is no hidden agenda. He needs your product and yes, he has checked it against the competitors. As he is the one using your service and your product, he has the first-hand experience plus a fresh eye. He is equipped with the best current market research a Google can provide. If your customer is experiencing any issues, learning about them is the best thing that can happen to you.

Using this first-hand information can help you cut the cost on your research, allow you to develop better UX and therefore drive the conversion rate up - all of that just for reading the customer comments and including them in your post-launch analysis.

3. Show that you are a fixer, not a quitter. When your customer opens up the topic of issues with your product on public forum, not only does he give you very valuable feedback - he also sets the stage for you to show you are able to provide a solution. Speed up the delivery, send a new item out of stock - do something!

Taking visible action shows you can be depended upon, which will deepen the trust between you and your customers. Not to mention the positive effect that taking of affirmative action will have on your reputation.

4. Negative reviews convert better than no reviews or only positive reviews. Online presence counts. According to 2013 study, shoppers who read negative reviews convert 67% more often than the average consumer.3 Having one or two negative reviews provides you with better conversion funnel than having a list of textbook perfect recommendations long as your arm.

When your customers read the review section, they are interested in how you deal with crisis and things going wrong: they are assessing your trustworthiness. As much as 82% of online shoppers are actively seeking negative reviews to see "what are you made of".4 Don't be afraid to see a negative comment - just be sure to act on it.

5. Don’t get all robotic about your customers’ issues. Generic reply is of no added value to a customer. Research shows that more than 72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from their friends.5 Don't reward their expectations by robot-like behavior, devoid of any emotion. Show that you are human and that you care - or even that you are a bit frustrated by the fact your customers are experiencing troublesome shopping at your store. Building an engaged relationship is a key thing for any long-term business. That said, keep the personal touch light and avoid negative emotions on your end.

6. Make the machine work for you. Speeding up the process of response can earn you many customer satisfaction points. According to 2014 study, 42% of customers complaining in social media expect a 60-minute response time.6 Make sure you strike the iron while it's hot. Notifications are your friends. Wherever you post, leave the notification option on. Set up a dedicated Google alert to keep you updated on mention of your brand.

Negative customer reviews are as old as time itself, but the online era allows the retailers to turn the "black mark" into an advantage by responding quickly, with empathy and trying to provide a solution - thus promoting their own customer care. Don't miss out on this opportunity and read more about using a multichannel customer care tool to increase your sales here.


1Harvard Business Review: Reviews, Reputation and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com. (2011)

2Harvard Business Review: Bad Reviews Can Boost Sales. Here’s Why. (2012)

3Business News Daily: Negative Customer Review? Turn It Into a Positive Opportunity (2014)

4Power Reviews: Turning Negative Reviews Into Positive Customer Experiences (2014)

5Saerch Engine Land: 72% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations (2012)

6Convince and Convert: 42 Percent of Consumers Complaining in Social Media Expect 60 Minute Response Time (2014)

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