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A Few Bad Reviews Can Boost Sales

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You read that right. If you have a few negative reviews alongside your positives, it’s actually a good thing. Well, it’s one of the positive sides of negative reviews. A new study from Northwestern University found that consumers trust reviews and star ratings more when they see a mix of negative and positive reviews. Yelp’s own research backs this up as well. Our data shows that businesses with some negative reviews get more user views than businesses with no negative reviews. This is because consumers are wary of businesses that appear too good to be true. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

But let’s face it: Receiving a one or a two-star review for your business can feel like a punch in the gut. The good news is that by responding to the reviewer, you can try to mend the situation and maybe even change a customer’s perspective for the better.

Two good tricks are to always treat the reviewer as if they are standing right in front of you and to put yourself in their shoes. How would you handle their feedback if it was face-to-face? When is the last time you called a customer service hotline or a 1-800 number with a problem? A lot of times it is a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding. One of the most important things you can do is respond quickly. It turns out, responding to a review within 24 hours makes that reviewer 33% more likely to upgrade their review.

Looking for some more help? Check out this recorded webinar all about responding and this easy to follow Review Response Flowchart on page 11 of our e-book: “A Simple Guide to Showcasing Your Business Online”. You can access the e-book here and you can check out the study here. As always, respond to your reviews via

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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