Did you know that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising and that approximately 20 – 50% of purchases are the result of a word-of-mouth recommendation? Do you rely on the advice and opinions of others when making a purchasing decision? I know I personally do.
How does all of this relate to your business and your customers? What happens when someone leaves a negative review in a public place — such as social media, your website, or Yelp? Before you panic and become extremely flustered, check out my list below to discover how a negative review can actually positively impact your business.
- Use a negative review as a chance to shine. Always thank customers for positive reviews, and address any negative reviews, stat. Put your customer service hat on and respond to comments publicly. This will give the dissatisfied customer a solution to their feedback, and others will be able to see the positive support and interaction you provide your customers. Check out this post for a list of 6 tips for providing exceptional social customer service.
- Negative reviews can help buyers make a better purchase decision. Not every “bad” review is bashing your business. Many individuals leave feedback sharing how the product didn’t have certain features or perform how they had hoped it would, etc. For example: a review on a purse may state that the customer greatly disliked the item because it had a zipper closure when they were hoping it would have a snap closure; the customer obviously wasn’t satisfied, but potential customers may find the review helpful as they may actually prefer the product as is. By being able to sort through reviews and create their own list of pros and cons of your product/service, individuals can better understand exactly what your business offers and set clearer expectations in their mind.
- A negative review can eliminate the “too good to be true” notion. Many people think that if something is too good to be true, then it probably is. Some businesses go to extremes to delete or hide negative reviews — don’t do the same. Choose to display all reviews—both good and bad—to show current and future customers that you are extremely transparent and truly care about their thoughts, criticism, and feedback. It’s how you deal with negativity that really matters, so refer back to step 1. Displaying negative reviews that are rectified can help to build trust among consumers.
There you have it —3 ways that negative reviews can actually help—not hurt—your business. Shift your mindset away from the idea that a negative review can be detrimental to your business and instead to listen to your customers, learn from any mistakes, make improvements to your products/services/processes and provide the best possible customer service to combat any negativity.