Getting a bad review isn’t the end of the world. Even if in the moment it might seem like it is. The key is to not overreact and get defensive. Your customers might be willing to overlook the bad review if they see a thoughtful response. In the long run, getting a bad review might even make your business better. As with anything, there are positives and negatives that come with a bad review. Below we’ll highlight some pros and cons and offer best practices that will help you stop a bad review in its tracks.
Con: Online reputation takes a hit
The biggest downside that comes from negative reviews is the hit your online reputation will take. Consumers put a lot of faith and trust in your online reviews. Businesses with a low overall star rating or with a large number of recent negative reviews will often be overlooked by consumers. According to research by BrightLocal, only 13% of consumers trust a business with a 1-2 star rating. A stray bad review here and there isn’t going to damage your overall reputation if they aren’t coming in on a regular basis.
Pro: Identify and fix problems
Bad reviews bring to light problems that you may not have known existed, allowing you to fix them before they spread across your entire organization. All feedback is good feedback as long as you use it to improve your business.
Con: Hurt employee morale
When customers call out individual employees by name in a negative review, it can have an adverse effect on their morale. For the most part, employees are trying hard and are striving to provide good customer service. That’s why you should always offer reassurances to the employee that they are doing a job and offer them opportunities to improve.
Pro: Opportunity to coach up employees
Mark Winters, eCommerce director at Tim Dahle Nissan, says, “I don’t ever look at a negative review as a setback. I look at it as an opportunity to improve.” That statement is true both for your business as well as your employees. Online reviews will help you identify in real time which employees might need extra help and give you the opportunity to coach them up.
How to handle a bad review
Not all of your customers who have a bad experience are going to leave a negative review. In fact, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, only 1 in 26 customers will take the time to complain publicly. That’s why when you do get a bad review you should take it very seriously.
A lot of times, customers just want to know that you are listening to them and care about their feedback. Responding to negative reviews is a good way to do that. When responding to negative feedback online you should first acknowledge the problem, apologize, offer a solution, and then take the conversation offline. We have found that following those four steps will go a long way toward making things right and restoring trust with your customers.
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite all of your customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business build a strong online presence on the sites that matter most. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.