How to Make the Most out of Negative Reviews
Reviews have become a common aspect of doing business. People have always reviewed products and services, but it wasn’t until the internet became such a focus in our lives that reviews gained the current power they now hold. Reviews can be very powerful. They can influence what consumers watch, eat, and buy. As you always get good and bad when it comes to public opinion, today we wanted to discuss how to make the most out of negative reviews.
One of the more important, but underrated, aspects of good digital marketing is controlling the perception of a brand. Proper messaging, use of images or tone, and so many other things are used to help promote a brand. Reviews are something that can also control the perception of a brand. That is why keeping track of reviews is so important in today’s business world. You need to amplify and promote the good, but don’t forget about the bad ones either.
Those negative reviews offer a business an opportunity; one that smart owners don’t waste.
Making the Most out of Negative Reviews
Rather than dreading the possibility of negativity on any type of online forum (shocking, people complain on the internet?); embrace it. Negative reviews are going to happen.
Some of them will be due to bad products or services. Even the best employee can have an off day. Others will be customers having a bad day or unreasonable expectations. No matter what the reason, the important takeaway is that they create a unique opportunity.
Statistics about reviews:
- Over 70 percent of customers are likely to keep doing business with a brand that resolves their complaints.
- Almost 90 percent of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.
- Less than 5 percent of dissatisfied customers actual leave reviews.
Dealing with negative reviews:
- Be proactive – Set aside regular time to analyze reviews of your business. This should be a top priority for the customer service department when not actively engaged in real-time problem resolution. All reviews posted on primary sites for your industry should be considered, both good and the bad. It is helpful to understand the positive factors customers appreciate for marketing and sales.
- Be positive – The tone for any customer service interactions should be positive and polite. There is a problem and you are looking to solve it. Many times, negative reviews that are met with a negative response generates additional negative reviews from those other 95 percent of dissatisfied customers who had remained silent. This is especially prevalent when the business appears in the wrong.
- Own up to mistakes – If a mistake was made, own it. Deflecting blame, ignoring problems, or making excuses is not the way to retain an upset customer or win over new ones who read reviews before making a purchase decision. Mistakes are a part of life and everyone makes them, but it’s what you do after the mistakes that shows your character.
- Make restitution when deserved – In some cases it is clear that the customer deserves some type of compensation and it should be given. Remember, it is more expensive to obtain a new customer than retain a current one. However, don’t develop a habit of rewarding every negative complaint without merit less your business has a flurry of fake reviews from people looking for handouts.
- Thank the customer – Take the time to thank the customer. After all, without customers there wouldn’t be a business.
While some people might also try and influence the customer to then change their negative review, this concept could easily backfire. After doing your best to resolve the customer issue, the smart play is to allow them to make their own decision. You have already demonstrated your brand value with your response.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that people always have and always will complain. It is one of the unique aspects of our society. When they do complain about your business, look to make the most out of those negative reviews. Turning a negative into a positive is the best response for both you and them.
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