Why 3 stars can be better than 5

Your heart sinks.

Reality Bites

Yes, it’s hard, but all is not lost. In fact, how about if we told you that a 3-star rating can actually be a good thing. Hand on heart, we promise. It’s really a gift in disguise and we’ll tell you why.

The Whole Truth

It’s real life. Nothing but 5-star reviews is not believable and makes customers suspicious. People want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If they think you’ve faked it or found a way to hide negative reviews, they won’t trust you and therefore they won’t buy from you. Having the occasional less than perfect review makes you more trustworthy. People buy from businesses they trust.


3 stars is not a disaster. I mean there are 3 of them, not 1. Those 3 stars means you’ve done something right. A 3-star review and constructive feedback can act as a set of FAQ for potential customers.

For example, a customer might rate you as 3 outta 5 because the shoes they ordered were on the ‘small size’ even although they ordered their usual size. So, what a potential customer learns from this review is that the shoes are on the small side, and they should order a bigger size. It’s informing others. It’s useful. It’s based on real life customer experience, which real life POTENTIAL customers love. 


What could be more valuable than your customers telling you what they want and how they want it. It’s basically free market research. These guys are the most important guests at your party. They’re who you need to please, and here they are telling you in their own words what they want. No guessing required. Any direct interaction with customers is invaluable.

Public Service

A little bit of dirty laundry is ok, despite what your mum says.  It shows readers what the worst-case scenarios are. And it’s the ideal opportunity for you to showcase how much you value your customers. 

When you receive a less than perfect review, it’s crucial to respond. And do it consistently. If your brand has a young, friendly vibe, then respond in this way. Stay on brand, and this applies to all review platforms. Have a strategy <insert link to the blog on sh*t reviews>. 

By acknowledging your customer and addressing the problem head-on, potential customers are reassured. They can see they have a recourse if things don’t work out. They see that customers matter to you. It builds trust. 

Responding to 3 star reviews with a view to understanding the customer and making everything right is damn good customer service. Those reading the feed get to see good customer service in action. Research shows that over 50% of customers will straight-up abandon a business if they experience poor service. It’s a huge deciding factor so it’s totally worth your time investing in a response. 

Continuous Improvement

A 3-star review is useful. You get to hear about problems that may never have otherwise surfaced. They highlight any issues or niggles and give you the chance to rectify them.  Process and product improvement is actually a critical part of your sales strategy. It’s all about making things better, and where better to start than where your customers tell you to start. 

Some last words

It’s the 21st century you know, and the world changes. We change. Hell, even our customers change their minds and of course they’re allowed to. 

Maybe that 3-star review pointing out that your staff uniforms look like you belong in a 70s musical isn’t so bad after all. 

Take heed and all worship the 3-star review.

Tell us your thoughts on 3 star reviews.

And, if you’d like to find out how easy it is to get your customers to leave a review, contact us here.