I rely heavily on customer reviews to make online purchases. Lots of single stars and I’m out. Four and five stars and I’m in. Despite my belief in the integrity of this system, I recently found myself tempted to delete a negative product review on a site that I manage. Little devil on my shoulder said “Go ahead, no one will know.” But the reality is negative comments are necessary for people to believe the positive. In fact, they are essential to making the site feel real and honest. How you choose to respond to customers can break or build trust in a brand. Here are a few reasons why I think it’s best to keep the dialogue open even if it’s a bit uncomfortable.1. Communicates transparency, there’s nothing to hide. 2. Communicates that you actually care what your customers think. 3. Communicates that you’re receptive to feedback and willing to adjust if necessary. 4. Communicates confidence. And if those reasons aren’t enough it’s simply the right thing to do.