Why Negative Reviews Aren’t Always Bad

Why Negative Reviews Aren’t Always Bad
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It’s easy to see every negative review and bad news. But a recent report suggests that bad reviews might actually be coming from some of your best and most loyal customers.

Eric Anderson of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Duncan Simester from MIT’s Sloan School of Management have found through their research of over 325,000 online reviews that many complaints come from ongoing customers. They correlated the complaints with purchase history. The lesson? Complaints don’t always have a direct relationship with reduced sales.

Deceptive Reviews: The Influential Tail [MIT via ABC News]


  • This kind of study has been done many many times, and is taught in nearly every course I can think of on this kind of business analytics.

    Consumers generally speaking who have no interest in your brand/product generally wont say anything.

    • A few weeks ago, I tried to subscribe to a web site. After spending 15 minutes and getting pretty annoyed, I sent them an email to tell them their site was hard to use.
      I got an email back from a woman who said she’d tell me what she thought of me tomorrow.
      My impression of them now? they can go f*** themselves. Their web site is sh** and they’re Fu***** rude. I won’t deal with these bozos again.
      What better way to turn away a customer, and the bad mouthing I’ve given them since.
      Your findings match mine. Customer turned away and won’t go back.

  • If your customers complain and don’t buy, your product is priced too high
    if your customers don’t complain, it’s priced too low
    if your customers complain but still buy it, your product is priced just right

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