Critiques and bad reviews can be crushing, but also great for business. This may seem hard to believe, but negative customer feedback helps your business learn from its mistakes. Each review contributed is an opportunity to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your business. It allows you to learn more and improve every aspect of your business from customer needs to training team members.

Studies have shown that dissatisfied customers share their experience with nine to 15 other people. Worse yet, 86 percent of customers stop doing business entirely with companies after a negative experience. This has a detrimental domino effect on businesses, which may experience a lose in revenue and develop a poor reputation.

However, this can all change for the better if businesses decide to lean into negative customer feedback. Use it as a force for good with these tips.

Negative Reviews Are Not About You Personally

Many entrepreneurs are quick to take it personally when they receive negative customer feedback. Don’t fall into this trap. The review isn’t about you as a person, or your abilities. Undoubtedly, there have been times in your life where you were frustrated with a poor experience at a business. Maybe you wrote a review to better express that irritation and vent it out.

Taking a negative review personally doesn’t allow you to address as thoroughly as you would if you viewed it from an objective light. Detach yourself, and your ego, before you begin addressing these reviews. Focus from the perspective of the business, instead.

Negative Reviews Can Help Improve Poor Quality Products.

Customers are complaining about the quality of your products and services. Some of these complaints could extend well beyond “the waiter didn’t get my drink fast enough.” If the products or services you’re selling are constantly breaking or injuring customers, your business could be at risk of a lawsuit.

Listening to customers and reviewing their reviews can help you put the wheels in motion to make changes to your products and services. Every business will have a different method for addressing these concerns, from refunds to apologizing sincerely. The bottom line is to begin making the changes as quickly as possible. This ensures your customers remain safe and the products themselves are working at their full capacity. It also shows that you are listening. You care about their needs and want to address issues as soon as possible.

Use Negative Reviews To Improve Training With Your Team

Maybe your existing policies for dealing with complaints, such as using canned replies on Facebook or a script for a customer service call, aren’t working anymore. Customers are able to see through these responses. They want authenticity and transparency.

This is a great opportunity for your business to review existing policies, make changes, and review them with your team. Doing so will help keep everyone on the same page and allow you to address any questions they may have moving forward. It also shows that your business has listened to its customers and wants to do better — and frankly, get on the same modern page as everyone else in your industry.

Who knew negative reviews could have such a great impact on a small business? Between improving products and overall company policies, negative reviews might ultimately be more valuable to businesses and their growth than positive ones.