Study after study has shown that negative reviews of your business on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor can turn new customers away, but the truth of the matter is that not all negative reviews are created equal. Yes, having numerous negative reviews is a bad thing. Yes, as few as two or three condemning reviews left ignored can be a big problem. However, most negative reviews are not a death sentence. In fact, here are four reasons why negative reviews can actually be good thing for your business...if handled the right way.
1. Negative Reviews Lead to Improvements (if You’re Listening)
Accepting criticism is hard, especially when it’s aired out on a public website for everyone to see. However, if you really care about your business, you need to take customer critiques to heart. If they are raising legitimate concerns about your business, don’t get mad, fix the problem.
For example, if you see numerous reviews complaining about a certain product, service, or menu item you offer, either discontinue it or fix it.
2. Negative Reviews Reinforce Authenticity
Most consumers are savvy. They can sniff out when something looks too good to be true, and if your business has nothing but glowing 5 star reviews, they will assume the positive reviews are either fake or that the negative reviews have somehow been moderated out. That being the case, having some negative reviews actually builds credibility and trust in your business.
Also, keep in mind that consumer skepticism goes both ways—while they won’t trust you if your business has zero negative reviews, they also won’t trust the reviewers who left you 1 or 2 stars when the vast majority of your reviews are positive.
3. Negative Reviews Help You Establish Customer Expectations
What’s bad for one customer isn’t necessarily bad for other customers. In fact, people who write negative reviews often do so because they have unrealistic expectations about what a business offers or specializes in.
For example, a customer expecting cheap, quick takeout food might write a negative review for a gourmet sit-down restaurant. Similarly, a customer looking for a complete engine rebuild might leave a negative review if a quick-lube service station turns them away.
Sure it’s picky and misguided when customers write these sort of reviews, but having these these negative reviews helps communicate to other consumers what they should expect from your business, thereby deterring anyone from walking into your business with unrealistic ideas about what you offer.
4. Negative Reviews Give You an Opportunity to Show-off Your Stellar Customer Service
The biggest mistake you can make with negative reviews is to ignore them. In addition to fixing any issues they bring light to, you also need to make a point of responding to them publicly. Why? For one, you still have a chance of winning back the customer who wrote the review. If you follow the best practices for responding to negative reviews, you can turn them from a disgruntled customer into a loyal regular.
More importantly, you want to respond to negative reviews as soon as possible for the sake of all the other consumers who see them online or on their phones. By responding to negative reviews appropriately and quickly, you’re showing the whole world that you take customer concerns seriously, and in doing so, you’re more likely to win their business.
Keeping track of all of new reviews can be time consuming and costly, but not with SpotOn. We make it easy to monitor all your reviews from all the major review sites in real-time and send you alerts whenever new reviews are posted. Get your free demo to learn more.