Negative reviews are a rite of passage, and there is no reason to fear them because they are as inevitable as the sun rising in the morning. In fact, there are ways you can turn the situation around and actually benefit from negative reviews.
How negative reviews affect businesses
First, let us talk about the potential damage that negative reviews can cause, for there are many. They can affect the prestige, profitability and credibility of a business. Statistics reveal that a single negative review can have about 22% of the customers not want to pursue the product or service, which means it can cost a business around 30 customers. People essentially hesitate to buy from businesses with either no reviews or too many negative reviews. Studies show that negative reviews stop 40% of the customers from using a business.
Now these are simply statistics. You will never be able to please every customer in existence or appeal to all of the customers that would potentially find your product ideal. Using those negative reviews, however, is something that is under your control, and here is how.
Negative reviews increase your credibility
This may sound strange, but consider what we said earlier: not everyone can be satisfied by the same product. Hence, it would be weird for a customer if they found nothing but positive reviews. According to the Journal of Vacation Marketing, consumers tend to find negative reviews contributing to a company’s credibility than positive reviews. Another research from Harvard Business School found customers trust moderately positive reviews more than excessively positive reviews. Basically critique seems more realistic than unbelievably satisfied customers. Hence, it is good to have positive reviews with a dash on negative reviews.
Negative reviews increase the number of reviews overall
When people search for local businesses, google shows several results with the number of stars each of them has. Google also happens to show how many reviews the business has overall. The more reviews you have the more your social proof increases and contributes to localised search ranking factors. Just think about a product online that has 4.0 stars but 7000 reviews, vs a product that has 4.5 stars but only 125 reviews. The one with more reviews would obviously be the more preferable choice, since it has been confirmed by other people that it is useful enough to be bought by so many of them.
Negative reviews draw a picture of your business
You have probably read a negative review before on other products, where the person goes into detail about everything they did not like about the product. The wonderful aspect about that is not everything one person did not like with overlap with what someone else does not like. If let’s say someone complains about too much mayo on a burger, there might be someone else out there who actually loves extra mayo on their burger. Because of how descriptive negative reviews can get, customers are actually more compelled because they get a better picture of what your business is like and what they can offer.
Dealing with negative reviews
Now that we know how negative reviews affect your business, we shall talk about how to deal with them. Responding to a negative review is what makes or breaks your business. This is because studies have shown that responding to negative reviews made 33% of customers posted a positive review shortly after, and 34% deleted their negative review entirely. Showing that your business cares about customer satisfaction can put you in a favorable light. It’s almost as though even negative factors want your business to succeed.
Here is how you respond to a negative comment to make your business more trustworthy.
- Hire reputation management services for your business
- Respond promptly, at least within 24 hours
- Be polite and professional, because you do not want to make a scene on a public review where everyone can see it
- Thank the customer for leaving feedback and make sure to tell them you will do everything in your power to resolve the issue.
- Ask them to contact your business to further help them with their issue, and then make sure you get them in touch with customer service.
Hopefully now you have a better idea of how negative reviews can help and how to handle them effectively.