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Let’s talk about bad reviews; it’s the reason why many businesses avoid seeking out online customer reviews.

Before 1999, the only customer feedback you could find online were on eBay and sites like Better Business Bureau. Then, 1999 saw the introduction to Rate It All, Deja and Epinions. Following this trend, Citysearch and Yellowpages added feedback to the most significant business directories on the planet. 

In 2009 Yelp added reviews to its four-year-old business connection platform, and a year later, Google allowed reviews to its business listings. The rest is history.

In the last twenty years, I have had many clients who have been very frustrated and fearful of online reviews.

My view has always been, “Someone is online reading something someone has said about you, so you should be the person saying it.”

Online reviews are a part of business life now, and the best strategy is to get in front of them. 

  • Negative reviews give customers a sense of the worst-case scenario.

It’s an excellent opportunity for potential customers to see what will happen if things don’t pan out as expected. Handle a negative review well, and you will have the potential to turn one unsatisfying customer experience into a reassuring example of how issues are resolved.

  • Too many positive testimonies look suspicious. 

So a world where consumers know that businesses purchase likes and comments and that many operators fake feedback, many good reviews seem too good to be true. 

Some interesting stats:

  • 97% of online buyers read customer feedback before making an online purchase.
  • 89% consider the review an essential part of the online purchase proposal
  • 85% check the negative feedback to help inform their decision and 91% for consumers in the 18-29 age bracket.

Not confident about online reviews...

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Earle Webber

With over thirty years in content marketing and brand development, Earle is the director of, and Earle is also a founding partner at

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