Article

John Shieldsmith
John Shieldsmith 3 September 2019

How to Use Negative Reviews to Your Advantage

Online reviews carry almost as much weight as a personal recommendation for many customers. So, are negative reviews the end of the world? Actually, they can be used to your advantage. Learn how to navigate online reviews and manage the many types of negative reviewers using this visual from Fundera.

There was a time when word of mouth was all your business needed to take off. Now? Online reviews can practically make or break a business. 

To put online reviews into perspective, consider this: 91% of those ages 18-34 trust an online review as much as they do a recommendation from a friend. With Gen Z and Millennials making up much of the online demographic, reviews can be a huge influence on your potential audience. So, what are you to do when you get a negative review? 

You make it work for you. But first, let's take a closer look at why online reviews are so important. 

Why Online Reviews Matter

It's easy to dismiss online reviews depending on your business. For example, a local bakery may not think online reviews are all that important. After all, they sell mostly to locals, right? 

While you can build a loyal following in your immediate vicinity, you still need to be concerned with online reviews for several reasons. 

  • Reviews control the perception of your brand: First impressions are everything, and reviews can often create a great or terrible first impression. Like it or not, the perception of your brand is largely controlled by reviews.

    For example, if you have a boatload of negative reviews, people will read those and think the worst. If you have solid reviews with the occasional negative one, people will likely give you a chance still. (After all, every business gets a few negative reviews if they’re around long enough!)

  • Reviews act as free advertising: Paying for online ads can be spendy, and billboards are pretty much out of the question for most new businesses. Solid online reviews can translate into free advertising, so long as the reviews are positive.

    If people go online and see glowing reviews for your business, they’re likely to check it out, even if they didn’t have a lot of interest before. They’re also likely to tell their friends about your business if they have a positive experience, meaning you can still get that awesome, old-school word of mouth advertising in.

    Furthermore, enough positive reviews can result in your business showing up first on sites like Yelp if someone sorts by average rating.

  • People trust online reviews: Remember that stat from earlier? People simply trust online reviews. Sure, word of mouth can still result in people checking out your business, but positive reviews can sway those that have no personal experience with your business and ultimately result in you gaining customers.

Making Negative Reviews Work for You

With so much riding on online reviews, negative reviews can leave just about any business owner reeling. While negative reviews can sting, they’re not the end of the world. In fact, negative reviews can be pretty great for your company if you know how to respond. (And if you’re not getting too many of them.)

Here are a few of the ways negative reviews can benefit your business.

  • Negative reviews humanize your brand: Too many positive reviews can leave people skeptical of the validity of your reviews. (Paid reviews aren’t unheard of.) A few negative reviews here and there will show people that your brand is human and not being propelled to the top by fake reviews.

  • They open lines of communication: When someone leaves a negative review, you have a great opportunity to have an honest dialogue with a customer. Replying to these reviews in a personal, real manner can help you win back that customer’s trust. In some cases, this can result in an even more loyal customer, as they’ve seen how much you’re willing to do to make sure they have a pleasant experience.

Just be sure you reply with a real, human response and not something canned. A templated response can damage you far more than not replying at all.
 

  • They give you the chance to show you care: If someone is reading reviews of your business and sees that you reply to any negative feedback and offer solutions, they’ll see how dedicated you are. This can sway some people to check out your business, possibly even more so than a positive review would have.

    Any business can get a few decent reviews. The businesses that go above and beyond and reply to their unhappy customers, are the ones that stand out the most. 

Negative reviews don’t have to be the end of your business, nor do they even have to be a huge source of stress. You can easily make them work for you. To help make this process even easier, Fundera has created a visual that guides you through some of the most common types of negative reviewers out there. 

The next time you get a negative review, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, steady yourself, and reply in a manner that you as the customer would want. While you can’t win back every customer, you can at least rest assured knowing you did your part as a responsible and respectable business owner!

yVRBvU44.jpeg

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 6 February 2018
Read more
10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2019 you Should Know

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2019 you Should Know

As digital trends evolve every year, marketers should always be aware of the changes in order to easily adapt with emerging technologies and stay ahead in the market. This will help them gain a competitive edge and...

Georges Fallah
Georges Fallah 27 December 2018
Read more
Top 10 Skills to Become a Rockstar in Digital Marketing

Top 10 Skills to Become a Rockstar in Digital Marketing

Technology is continuously evolving, prompting marketers and entrepreneurs to dive into digital marketing to increase brand awareness, reach their target market, and ultimately drive sales and profit. 

Jessica Andriani
Jessica Andriani 7 September 2018
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of...

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more