It’s one of the biggest Catch-22’s in the business world, but the impact of negative reviews is that they can actually help you in the long run. This idea can be controversial, since most business owners prefer that their quality services are represented in all 5-star reviews. However, it’s nearly impossible to please everyone that you do business with – though you should strive for perfection.
2 Ways That Negative Online Reviews Can Actually Help You
To help you better handle a negative review, we’ve broken down how such customer experiences can actually help build up your business’s online reputation.
1 - Negative Reviews Improve Your Future Customer Service Experiences
Your first instinct may be to react with anger when someone leaves you a negative review. After all the hard work, money, and time you’ve invested in your business, it’s hard to hear that someone had a less-than-amazing experience.
Before you send over a defensive reply, take a second to ask yourself: “Does this reviewer have a point?”
If you find that you could make some improvements to your business based on the reviewer’s comments, you’re giving your business a great opportunity to change for the better.
Usually, people are driven to leave negative reviews after they left your business feeling some strong emotions. Anger, embarrassment, or sadness can all motivate someone enough to take time out of their day to leave that review. If something truly did go wrong in that customer’s experience, you want to learn about what that is and find ways to avoid the problem in the future.
So, listen to what your customers are saying and find out whether they have a point before responding. You never know what someone may point out that could have become a larger problem down the road.
2 - Negative Online Reviews Build Your Business’s Authenticity
One of the most surprising effects of negative reviews is that they can actually make your business appear more trustworthy online.
This is because many people view businesses that have a perfect 5-stars as suspicious. Because they know that you can’t make everyone happy, they view a log of perfect ratings to be less trustworthy because they may be purchasing fake reviews.
So, when someone leaves a negative review for your business, they may be doing you a favor!
Unless something egregiously bad is written, a small complaint isn’t something that will dissuade many potential customers from doing business with you. In a sea of good reviews, a small handful of negative reviews can only reinforce the honesty of your business.
And you can boost that perception even more by responding to all reviews, including negative ones, with a gracious and caring response. Use the customer service automation features on social media channels to get instant notifications for a timely response.
It can be difficult to completely change your mindset and not feel a little bit hurt when someone leaves your business a negative review. However, you can always remind yourself that negative reviews aren’t really that negative all the time! By boosting the trustworthiness of your business and giving you the chance to make some impactful, positive changes to your business, these less-than-ideal reviews can become a useful experience.
Our guest author Garrett Smith is the President & CEO of RepCheckup, an online review management software used by small businesses across the country. He has been helping businesses thrive through sales and marketing since 1999.