Dealing with negative reviews is not the end of the world for a business. Many companies are afraid of getting bad reviews, but they fail to realize how easy it is to handle negative reviews and the positive impact those poor ratings can have. Properly dealing with negative reviews can actually help your business, and combating them is often as simple as garnering additional positive reviews.
Many major websites, including Amazon, Glassdoor, Yelp, Facebook, and Google either elicit or aggregate reviews. Any of these sites that provide the option to leave feedback on a company’s performance are bound to show the good, the bad and the ugly. You may have read in a public review on Yelp about a negative experience someone had with your company. It is never easy or pleasant to look at poor ratings, but it is not the end of your company.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that anyone in business is bound to come face-to-face with at least a handful of vitriolic reviews at some point. If every company on the receiving end of an anger-fueled comment went out of business, there would be no businesses left. You may find it helpful to remember that bad reviews are often simply a combination of a bad day and mismatched expectations.
Positive effects of negative reviews
Negative comments can have positive effects. First, negative reviews lend legitimacy to positive reviews. As a business, if you provide an unfiltered showcase of the good and the bad, it indicates to customers that you have nothing to hide. Sure, some customers were unsatisfied, but most were completely happy.
Posting the honest truth shows that your reviews are real, not fake. Only fake reviews are 100% positive. Harvard Business School completed a study indicating that consumers trust businesses if they see a mixture of good and bad feedback, and 95% of consumers believe reviews are fake or screened by your company if the feedback is completely positive. Consumers know that no company is perfect, so they expect to see a few negative remarks.
Positive response to negative reviews
Responding to negative reviews is a key tactic businesses must embrace. You do not want to just remove negative reviews, as it will make your positive reviews seem untrustworthy. Show your customers you have nothing to hide. Respond to negative reviews as early as possible.
First, consider if the comments reveal a legitimate flaw or issue with your products/services which you should address. Then, respond to negative reviews in the public forum in which they were posted to show that you care about the customer and have taken strides to resolve their problem. Follow up with the customer after you have responded to their bad review to ensure the resolution left them satisfied. Customers will pay attention to how you respond to problems with your products or services, and your business may grow as a result.
Proactive response to negative reviews
Data indicates that only 14% of reviews are 3 stars or less. Given that the other 86% of reviews are 4 or 5 stars, the best way to combat negative remarks is simple math: just ask for reviews. The more you have, the more positive remarks will be made for your company. If you only have five reviews, one is bound to be negative. That seems like a lot. But if you ask for reviews and you get one hundred, only fourteen will be neutral or negative.
One way to garner more reviews is to ensure your review process is mobile-friendly. You can expect over half of your reviews to be written on a mobile device. In addition to asking for more reviews, give incentives for those who write a review. Customers do not want to feel as though they are doing you a favor without any recompense.
Remember that dealing with negative reviews is not the end of the world. There are far harder things to deal with in business than reputation management, and if you deal with them well, your company will be successful.