You’re hard at work perfecting your product. You’re developing excellent systems and are dedicated to customer satisfaction. It seems you’re doing all the right things and you’re excited about the future of your brand. Then you hop online and are greeted by a sea of negative comments — if not a sea, you at least notice that the negative comments definitely outweigh the positive ones. Why?

The reality of negativity bias.

Negativity bias is the concept that negative experiences have a greater impact on a person’s internal state and general happiness than the impact of positive experiences of a similar intensity.

Simply put, we react more strongly to negative occurrences than positive ones. These emotions then affect cognition and our decision-making processes, leaving a lasting negative impression and a stronger desire to “tell the world”.

This means brands have to work a lot harder to get positive reviews, and that even a slight hiccup in a customer’s experience could have lasting negative implications for the brand, whether online or just with that individual.

While it’s a widely known phenomenon that people are more apt to share negative experiences than positive ones, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating for brands who are putting in the work on the back-end only to be greeted with negative feedback online.

It isn’t all bad news, though.

Bad reviews may not be such a bad thing, after all.

Bad reviews ≠ bad business, nor do negative reviews necessarily generate a negative effect for brands. Quite the contrary in fact, as research has shown that brands can do more good by recovering a once-negative perception than by maintaining 100% spotless online review listings.

Leaving both the good and bad of your brand out in the open shows consumers that you’re real, and studies have shown that [it’s that authenticity that most consumers are really looking for].

Letting your customers paint a true picture of their experience can also lead to less dissatisfaction later on, as consumers researching your product will better know what to expect and not be caught off guard down the line. They’ll clearly see your customer service style and be able to judge if they can trust their business to your team, which is why it’s crucial for all brands to play an active, engaged role in responding to customer feedback.

Consumers are smart, and research shows most look beyond a star rating to make their decision, so don’t be afraid of the occasional 1 or 2 star review.

Don’t forget to follow-up with your customers.

Another way to combat this is through a review collection strategy, empowering that silent but satisfied majority to easily speak up about their experiences with your brand.