Tabitha Jean Naylor Clearwater : Why a One-Star Review Might Be Your Greatest Asset

I’ve worked a number of jobs in my life. I’ve been a consultant, a freelance writer, and a pizza delivery driver among other things, and one thing that’s been instilled in me by every position I’ve held is the importance of customer service. The owner of the restaurant I worked at was OBSESSED – to the point of checking the site hourly for new reviews and punishing/rewarding workers based on customer feedback – with Yelp. Every time a negative review came in, she would dive headfirst into the customer’s issue, attempting to determine who or what caused the bad experience, and formulating a plan to remedy it. Reputation meant everything to this owner, and she did everything in her power to craft a good one. You’d be wise to do the same.

The unfortunate fact of business is that no matter which industry you’re in, you’re going to run into a customer who is nearly impossible to please. They’ll find flaws in your product, criticize your quality of service, or mock your professionalism, and oftentimes they do so unfairly. To 99% of people, their gripes will seem entirely ludicrous, but to 1% their negative review – on Yelp, your website, Angie’s List, etc. – will be enough to dissuade a potential customer from doing business with you. That’s not a good thing, but with a great customer service team, you can turn these bad reviews to your advantage.

One company that does a remarkably good job of this is EatSmart. They’re one of’s consistent top-sellers in its “Home & Personal Care” section, raking in millions of dollars each year with their line of digital scales. They tend to get incredibly positive feedback from customers, but it’s the negative responses they receive that they expertly use to better their company image.

One of the reviews you’ll see on their most popular bathroom scale listing serves as a testament to their commitment to impeccable customer service. It’s titled “Unprecedented Upstanding Business Practice (and products),” and starts by stating, “I am changing my product review from one star to five.”

In the review, the customer acknowledges that she initially gave the scale a one star rating, voicing her displeasure after it stopped working less than two months after purchasing it. She was understandably upset with its malfunction, but her experience took a turn for the better “less than 24 hours” after reviewing the product. Upon leaving the review, she was called and emailed personally by the company’s vice president, who earnestly apologized for the faulty device. The reviewer was shocked by this personal outreach, and even more so when she received a brand new scale in the mail less than a week after leaving her review.

It’s easy to see why she was so willing to change her review to five stars, and even easier to understand how important it is for you to adopt this same attitude towards customer service as EatSmart’s vice president. By going above and beyond for this customer, he not only made her happy, but also earned his company a valuable boost in the consumer trust department. Now when potential buyers visit this Amazon listing, they see firsthand that EatSmart is a vendor that takes its customers seriously, and will do whatever it takes to ensure their satisfaction. That’s an incredibly powerful message, and one that is sure to curry favor for them for a long time to come.

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