The 4 Silver Linings Of Negative Online Reviews

You do know that there are negative online reviews about you, right?

Reputation management is all about being proactive. I’m always amazed at how many business owners are completely oblivious to the fact that they already have reviews of their business online, even if they’ve never set up an “account” for their business online.

Hundreds of review sites – including popular ones like Angie’s List, Yelp! (now owned by Yahoo/Bing/Microsoft), and Zagat (now owned by Google), as well as lesser known ones like and – allow customers to post reviews about local businesses.

If a local business isn’t listed (most of them are), then users/reviewers can actually create the listing, and then write whatever they want.


  • The good news: 51% of the feedback is positive, vs. 36% negative (and 11% equally split) according to one poll. Take these as a pat on the back.
  • The bad news: that’s still 36+ negative reviews out of every 100, more or less. You’ll of course want to take steps to fix negative online reviews.
  • The silver lining: if you have negative reviews, most of the time they come with a number of silver linings. You can fix your online reputation, strengthen your business, and reconnect with customers that might have been lost otherwise.


The Silver Lining(s) To Negative Online Reviews:

1) They Point Out Flaws in Your Coverage

If you were a knight about to fight in a battle, wouldn’t you want to know where the chinks in your armor were? If a customer has left a dissatisfied post, take heed, and see if you can’t patch up your operation. PissedConsumer

Example: Imagine reading the following in a review:


“As far as dentists go, he’s alright. But my last dentist… “


It doesn’t matter WHAT it is the last dentist did, it’s something you’re not doing and that you could be doing to ensure that your customers have a better experience. Fix it!

2) They Point Out Flaws in Your Service

If you took your car in for an oil change (that includes checking the regular systems in your car), occasionally the technician will come back and say something like, “Hey, your transmission fluid is getting low.” At that point, you can do one of two things. Fix it, or ignore it. Fix it, and your car will keep running most likely for years to come. Ignore it, and eventually the whole thing breaks down.

The funny thing about reviews is that they take effort, and most people will only make the effort for really good, or reall

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