How to Use Bad Reviews to Your Advantage

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How to Use Bad Reviews to Your Advantage

Some businesses have reservations about review management solely because they fear the impact of negative reviews. We get it. But, in reality, companies can use negative reviews to better their customer service and even their business model. 

Negative reviews are inevitable. People have bad days, customers get impatient, and accidents happen. The most important thing is how you react and utilize bad reviews. Let’s go over why negative reviews are actually good for your business.

Negative Reviews Makes Your Business Look Authentic

When customers see a business with hundreds of perfect, 5 star reviews, they get a bit suspicious. Are these reviews fake? Is the business legitimate? It is the negative reviews sprinkled in there that make your business look authentic. And they actually make the good reviews look even better. 

Negative Reviews Aid the Purchasing Decision

When prospective customers are deciding whether to make a purchase or patronize a business, they look for negative reviews to determine what the worst case scenario could be. Do the negative reviews complain about long wait times or a more serious issue?

Many companies are surprised to find that the majority of negative reviews are not because their product or service was bad, but that it didn’t live up to the customer’s expectations. Yotpo sifted through 1.3 million bad reviews and found that the most common negative word used was “disappointment” or “disappointed.”

These reviews help give other customers better expectations and allow you to improve your products and services. 

Negative Reviews Allow You to Build Trust 

In addition to the negative review itself, potential customers want to also read how the business chose to respond. Customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews and resolve the issues in any way possible, even if it is just an explanation.

For example, if a customer receives their package late, they aren’t always looking for a refund. A lot of the time explaining supply chain issues or other causes is enough.

All Reviews Help with SEO

You know how people say there is no such thing as bad publicity? Well, it’s true–at least in the sense of search engine optimization, SEO. Regardless if you get negative or positive reviews, the fact that people are generating content using your business’s name enables search engines to boost your online listing. Your business’s name is your primary keyword, so whether someone uses it in a positive or negative manner, it doesn’t matter. Platforms, such as Google, tally up how many times your name is used and ranks you accordingly.

Negative Reviews Provide Honest Feedback

Some bad reviews are the result of a one-time accident or grumpy customer. However, valid reviews give you valuable insight into your business. Look out for consistent reviews regarding the same issue, from complaints about a specific employee to comments on different services. Perhaps you need to work on your wait times or need to improve your facilities. Whatever the issue may be, keep an open mind and objectively address it.

How to Handle Negative Reviews

Responding to bad reviews can be tricky and needs to be handled on a case-by-case basis. But, here are some things to keep in mind: 

  1. Stay calm. It is easy to get frustrated when dealing with negative reviews, it’s understandable. But the worst thing that you can do is respond defensively. 
  2. Keep your negative reviews. It is tempting to remove negative reviews, but remember that they are actually good for your business. Of course, there are exceptions, and you should report negative reviews that are either untrue or malicious.
  3. Respond publicly. You may not want to draw attention to bad reviews by responding but not responding actually looks worse. Carefully calculate your response and resolve the issue publicly. 
  4. Learn from it. Take the negative review as constructive criticism. Find how you can improve your products, services, and business processes.
  5. Follow up. After you respond, make sure to follow up with the unhappy customer to ensure the issue is resolved. This could win them back.

The main takeaway is that negative reviews are not the end all be all. You can actually use them to better your business.

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