Your day is going great! You had your breakfast, the sun is shining, and you are ready to start your work day with enthusiastic passion because you love what you do and do what you love. And then, all of a sudden you see a “bad” review of your company. Your heart sinks, the room feels colder, your blood pressure rises and now everyone, even your goldfish, is afraid to look in your direction.
Yes, every company has been there. We all face the naysayers of the world on a daily basis. Most of the time, when it is verbal candor, we can easily brush it off and move forward but when it is archived, broadcasted and searchable on the web, it’s harder to get over.
Here is why you shouldn’t fear bad reviews:
1. It’s all about the ratio of positive to negative. If you provide overall quality service, generating tons of reviews is the secret to success: reviews volume increases the ratio of positive to negative, pushes negative reviews off the first page of reviews, and decreases the statistical impact of one review. Newegg.com has 350 bad reviews, yet they have a 9.8/10 rating thanks to their 30,000 positive reviews. Consumers are smart and they see the big picture. If your focus is making every experience great, then it will organically create positive reviews that will lower the impact of a few negative reviews.
“I don’t look at individual reviews,” said Ricardo Reyes, Las Vegas, NV, “I look at the overall picture to see what the general experience is going to be.”
No one can make every customer happy. Focus on making the majority happy and your rating will remain positive and strong.
2. Reviewers can be reasoned with. When a person writes a bad review, they felt like they received a less than perfect customer experience. In a professional manner, you should always ask if you can make the situation better. In many cases, reviewers will change their review to reflect the company’s effort to make them happy.
“I’ve changed my review before,” said Courtney Ronca, San Jose, CA “ I think if a company honestly tries to right something that they did wrong; it shows they have good customer service and that should be acknowledged.”
If you can change their experience, they will just as actively speak well of your company.
3. Respectful company replies can sway how people feel about a situation. A public flogging of a company is never pretty but consumers can tell the difference between a rant and a fair review.
“When a business representative posts a public reply to a angry reviewer, I tend to side with the corporation if it is done in a respectful and fair way,” said Ryan Smith, Seattle, WA, “Sometimes the reviewer’s counter argument is loaded with emotion and detracts from the original issue which makes me think they only wanted to complain; making me feel like the business is actually the victim. Businesses want things resolved to keep their image intact, reviewers have nothing to lose.”
Being respectful and fair to your consumers is important. If you do your best to ease a situation, you might not gain any ground with the reviewer but you will leave an overall good impression on the community.
4. Negative reviews are direct customer feedback on what you can improve. If one customer mentions it, it’s probably affecting others, too. One of the most powerful things a company can do is take feedback and use it for positive change. Change can create fans and drive sales.
“I really believe that one way that companies can differentiate themselves from the competition — given that there’s a TON of competition via the internet — is to have really good customer service. I have had companies who’ve given me bad service and I’ve let them know I was dissatisfied and they didn’t care at all. You’d better believe that I will never shop there again…I have a long memory in that regard,” said Michael Shipley, San Francisco, CA, “However, if they had said ‘you’re right, we’ll look into it’ or ‘we’ve made changes to improve the situation and we hope you’ll give us another try,’ then I would certainly shop there again. Part of customer service is actually listening to the complaint and evaluating if there is room for improvement. Take the time to listen, evaluate and respond.”
When you make a corporate change, let your reviewers know that they helped create change and they will return the favor with their dollars.
5. Negative reviews actually lend credibility. According to Clickz.com (http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1725342/reasons-not-fear-negative-reviews), “having a site full of nothing but glowing reviews can make a shopper skeptical. Allowing a mix of positive and negative reviews proves to customers that you care about what they say – both good and bad.”
Taking the time to understand your consumers is vital for any organization. Positive and negative reviews can help with that process and should be used as important market information. Like Shipley stated, “Take the time to listen, evaluate and respond.” Good things can come from less than perfect reviews.