You may have read this title once, and then needed to reread it a couple of times. Fortunately, your eyes do not deceive you! As a business owner, those five golden stars sparkle like those in the night sky. In the instance that you lose one of your stars due to a negative review from an unsatisfied customer, you may begin to feel inadequate or as if you have done something completely wrong and there is no coming back from it, but no need to fret! This post will provide you with a new take on negative reviews, and how you can use them to your advantage.
Perfection Is Not Realistic
Before you make a decision on anything, whether it be where to have dinner or which facial wash will work better for your skin, you probably didn’t make your decision until you have thoroughly read online reviews. What do these online reviews do for you as a consumer? Which one do you prefer more, the reviews that you read online, or perhaps word-of-mouth reviews you receive from your trusted friends and family? Regardless, statistics show that only 42 percent of people allow their friends and family to influence their purchase, while 68 percent of consumers report that online reviews have a more significant influence on their investment.
So what exactly does this tell us about negative reviews? This means that consumers are looking closely at reviews, but not in the way that you may expect. Sure, positive reviews are great for a company, and as a business owner, you don’t want to miss out on the 72 percent of people who take action after reading a positive review. But by the same token, too many positive reviews can be seen as “fake news” to the consumer and essentially scare them away from making the commitment. A negative review can make your business seem more realistic and trustworthy. Ultimately, a negative review can give the potential consumer a look at what could go wrong and allow them the opportunity to decide if it matters to them.
You Control the Narrative
As a business owner, your perspective is highly determinable of your success in that it can be a direct indicator of how you handle stressful situations. Think of a negative review as being the common cold of consumer relations! Almost every business will review a negative report (unless they are paying for only positive ones), but not every company will address the negative review in a way that can propel their business to the next level. This is a perfect opportunity to stand out amongst you direct competitors.
One crucial thing to decipher prior to responding to a negative comment is assessment. Remember that people are people and sometimes are just looking for something to complain about, attention, or perhaps money. Other consumers are genuinely attempting to voice their concerns and hold the brand accountable. The former is not the type of reviews you should respond to, especially if they are inappropriate or offensive. A response here may place your brand in the same light as the person who wrote the review: immature. The negative reviews of substance are worth replying to because you are then in a position to control the narrative. Let the customer know you are hearing them and care about their opinion. At EMB, we welcome all customer reviews because we want to provide the best possible service for our clients.