Last Updated: February 2024
The advent of digitalization has rendered tech-savvy attributes to current-day customers.
Today, customers want to make educated decisions about what they spend their money on, and the most common way of doing this is by reading customer feedback online.
In fact, about 81% of people study online reviews before buying a product.
However, do customers make purchases only if the reviews are good? You would be surprised to know that 68% of people trust reviews more when there are good ones as well as bad ones.
Thus, contrary to what the name suggests, “bad business reviews” can be good for you!
This article will help you understand:
- How do negative reviews affect your business?
- 5 tips to turn negative reviews into your favor?
- Negative reviews response examples
- Top 8 Benefits of Responding to Negative Reviews
3 Negative Impacts of Negative Reviews:
Negative reviews can be best described as a double-edged sword. To begin with, negative reviews increase conversions and brand loyalty.
It was found that shoppers who go out of their way to read negative feedback convert 67% more than the average customer.
Moreover, according to the survey results published by Northwestern, an imperfect 4.5-star rating is more appealing to customers than a perfect 5 star.
However, despite the positive impact of reviews on conversion, an abundance of negative reviews can hamper your company’s reliability.
Take a look at the 3 negative impacts that bad reviews can have on your business:
1. Lesser Reliability:
According to Forbes, 94% of customers avoid a business with negative reviews, while about 50% of customers claim that negative reviews make them doubt the quality of the business.
2. Lesser Revenue:
Negative reviews can prevent your customers from making purchases.
The following chart from Moz will help understand the number of negative reviews required for your customers to abstain from making purchases:
Imagine that! Even one bad review is worth a 22% drop in purchases.
3. Lower-ranking on search engines:
According to Google’s John Mueller, customers leaving bad reviews online is quite common for companies. Thus, if the reviews are both negative and positive, then it won’t have a major impact on your website’s ranking.
However, if bad business reviews on a website are predominant, then it may leave a bad impression.
Now, let’s have a look at some tips to help you generate a positive outcome from negative feedback.
How to Respond to Negative Feedback?
Too many negative reviews can hamper your business by inducing mixed feelings of reliability in your customers.
However, when you take responsibility for your actions and respond to negative feedback, it can also work in your favor.
Here are a few suggestions to help you formulate the perfect response to negative feedback:
1. Acknowledge the reviewer:
A customer reaches out to you for the sole purpose of being heard. When you acknowledge the reviewer, they feel valued and it marks the beginning of smoother proceedings.
2. Thank the reviewer for reaching out:
Say “Thank You” to the customer for reaching out and voicing their experience. After all, this not only allows you to flex your customer service skills but also provides you valuable feedback about the shortcomings in your services.
3. Apologize for the inconvenience caused:
You must apologize for the inconvenience caused. Irrespective of whether you are responsible for the bad experience or not, say “sorry” because it helps pacify the customer.
Moreover, it shows how much you care for your customers and how much you value their satisfaction
4. Take responsibility for the bad experience:
The bad experience might just be one unfortunate day for your company. It might have been the result of too many staff on leave or maybe rush-hour.
Instead of giving excuses, acknowledge the customer’s bad experience and assure them that you aim at providing premium services at all times.
5. Heal the broken bonds:
Offer some form of credit or gift to the customer as compensation for the unsatisfactory experience.
Bonus Tip: “Try meeting with the customer and discuss the incidents face-to-face. It is better to handle such cases offline in a more personalized manner.
Check out some negative review response examples posted online:
Some Examples of Negative Review Responses:
1. Honda of Thousand Oaks:
Here is an example of a negative review provided by a customer of Honda of Thousand Oaks. When the customer complains about poor customer service, the company accepts its fault and apologizes for the inconvenience while also providing contact information to make amends.
2. Forest Family Dentistry:
In this feedback, the customer seems upset with the dentist’s work, so much so that he even complains about the furniture provided. Have a look at how the dentist responded to this negative feedback in a very calm and positive manner.
3. Fake review:
Beware of people leaving fake reviews. Sometimes, people who had no contact with you or your firm leave negative reviews that might end up causing losses for you. Be careful while dealing with such reviews.
You will get a better understanding with the following image:
Did you notice that most of the above-mentioned reviews were left by customers on social media platforms?
Fact Dump: “About 84% of customers’ purchase decisions are influenced by posts uploaded by their friends on social media platforms.”
Having said that, you might be wondering why I called negative feedback a two-edged sword when it has such adverse impacts on your business.
The thing is, negative feedback provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate how much you value your customers. If you know how to respond properly to negative feedback, it could turn the tables in your favor.
About 45% of customers say that they are more likely to visit a business that responds to negative feedback.
Have a look at the 8 top benefits of responding to negative reviews.
Top 8 Benefits of Responding to Negative Reviews
1. Increase in sales:
As mentioned earlier, bad reviews improve conversion rates up to 67%.
This implies that showcasing bad reviews for your company increases reliability, thereby encouraging more consumers to bring their business to you.
This increases sales and generates more business revenue for your company.
According to Econsultancy, negative reviews increase sales by 18%:
2. Increase in trust amongst buyers:
When buyers find 100% positive reviews on a company’s website, they feel that the reviews are either faked or censored and the company’s reliability takes a nosedive.
That’s because customers realize that no company is perfect in all aspects.
Did you know that almost 30% of customers feel that businesses with 100% good reviews are either fake or censored?
Instead, if you publish your company’s negative feedback along with the positive ones, buyers will trust your company.
As mentioned earlier in this article, 68% of buyers trust companies that disclose both negative and positive reviews on their websites.
3. Helps build brand advocates:
Responding to negative reviews helps you engage with your customers and provide solutions to improve the customer experiences.
Have a look at these statistics mentioned in Jay Baer’s book, ‘Hug Your Haters’, regarding the impact of negative feedback on brand advocacy:
- Responding to negative feedback can generate a 20% increase in brand advocacy.
- Failure in responding to customer feedback can reduce brand advocacy by 43%.
4. Improves brand image:
Not responding to customer feedback due to fear of escalating the issue will hurt your Brand image.
A prospect going through your website will only see negative reviews for your business and your act of ignorance will be interpreted as a lack of customer value.
On the contrary, if you reply to the negative comment and provide an apt solution, these prospects can then decide whether they liked your manner of handling customer grievances, thereby opening doors for possible future interactions.
5. Helps to make smarter decisions:
Bad product reviews help your customers make smart decisions regarding product purchases.
When customers make educated decisions, it reduces the chances of product returns and increases customer satisfaction.
6. Helps the company improve:
Good communication is the cornerstone for the success of any business venture. When you interact with your customers and work on their pain points, you can improve your products and services and develop customer-centric plans.
Most importantly, negative feedback highlights your lackings, thereby helping you channel your resources towards rectifying these shortcomings in your services.
7. Highlights positive reviews:
When you showcase all your negative customer reviews without censoring, they shed light on your positive feedback.
Wonder how that happens?
The fact that you are engaging with a customer to compensate them for their experience implies that the other feedback (positive) on your product hold value.
Thus, it implies that the positive comments that you received from your customers are also true.
8. Chance to engage customers:
When customers reach out to you via social media platforms, it gives you a chance to personalize your interaction with them and improve the customer experience.
Moreover, other prospects who read these responses will have no reason to avoid interactions with a company that values its customers and ensures their satisfaction.
Companies that censor their websites by removing all negative reviews lose great opportunities to attract customers.
Bad reviews are good for business as they provide you with opportunities to engage with customers who have had bad experiences and are on the verge of turning into detractors.
Instead, you can convert them into active brand advocates by following the above-mentioned methods and making them feel valued.
If you still feel overwhelmed, you can always delegate your customer interaction to Helplama’s experienced customer service professionals within a few hundred dollars per month. You can also try the Saufter – the customer service software that can help you automate and scale your customer support.