How many product purchases do you make without reading reviews these days?

Independent review onsite garner trust and transparency, providing reassurance at the point of purchase, displaying other buyer’s genuine experiences online.

But what about when an online retailer faces the prospect of a negative review?

Here at Un.titled, we often receive requests to install a wide variety of review systems. There can be concerns negative reviews will have a detrimental impact on business.

Actually, it can be quite the opposite.

Negative reviews can be turned into real positives. They show you’re a genuine business that faces challenges. It’s how those challenges are dealt with and resolved that can be very telling about the type of business you are.

Negative reviews can help a business identify areas for improvement. Savvy, proactive company’s welcome reviews of any kind and respond to negative feedback by improving processes, adapting product offerings and stepping up customer service. Reviews can help you create real competitive advantage online.

The CEO of a client of ours invested in Feefo reviews on their B2B business. The CEO insisted on personally receiving every single negative review. He invested in a dedicated resource to handle online customer service and reviews. He also set out KPIs for the team around managing reviews. On analysis of the incoming Feefo reviews, the wholesaler identified the businesses weak spots.

As a result of direct feedback from customers, the business adapted the delivery offering across a number of territories. Delivering a much-improved service, resulting in growth across conversion and sales. A great result all round.

Retailers who focus on resolving negative feedback fast and professionally, can turn a complaining customer into a lifelong advocate for the company.

Here’s a few of our observations of what is important for businesses handling reviews;


  • Ensure the correct training is in place to enable staff to confidently handle reviews
  • Create consistent processes staff can adopt time and time again.
  • Participate actively in a negative review scenario. Work to identify where the reviewers pain point has been. Let them know publicly you are working on it. Engaging with a customer will give a chance to show your side of the story, which may alter a reader’s opinion.
  • Show empathy, put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
  • Handle negative reviews with speed, moving to as a fast resolution as possible.
  • Picking up the phone is more times than not the best way forward.


  • React with your brain not your heart! Focus on fixing the issue. Keep conversations professional. Don’t take it personally.
  • The best way to defuse an angry and frustrated customer is to ask questions.
  • Let customers know how their feedback contributed to helping improve or evolve services or products.
  • Provide solutions, not apologies.
  • Don’t forget to thank your customers for their time in gaining valuable feedback, it shows you care.

The way negative reviews are handled can stay with your customers for a very long-time.

Reviews can drive so much more than just sales!

An Econsultancy article showed the results of a Bazaarvoice survey of over 500 retailers (majority European). They were asked what are the key value drivers of consumer generated content programs such as reviews. The results revealed some more reasons why reviews are a very good idea.


  • Topping the list at 83% was online sales. Better reviews and ratings sell more products.
  • At 66% was website engagement, improving loyalty and customer experience
  • SEO came in at 66%. Reviews can indeed help contribute towards SEO.


  • At 49%, enhanced customer service. With close monitoring of reviews, issues can get detected early.
  • Product development at 35%. 14% of brand reviews and 8% of retailer reviews can pinpoint product issues. This can help businesses include customer feedback into product design.
  • At 31%, in-store sales.
  • And finally, at 28%, a decrease in the rate of returns. Reviews on site help customers make an informed decision at the point of purchase.

There is much evidence to suggest, embracing reviews across both services and products and displaying them on key touch points across home pages for example and importantly on product pages can have a positive impact on turning those potential shoppers into buyers.