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Why Negative Online Reviews are Really Opportunities for Your Business

in Internet Basics - What You Need To Know

Last updated 6 years ago

Are you hesitating to create a strong web presence for your business because you don’t want to open yourself up to negative reviews?

I’ve got some news for you. Your business has already opened itself up for negative reviews. The mere act of opening your business has opened you up to negative reviews. And there’s really nothing you can do to prevent reviews from being written. Sure, you could refuse to claim your Google Places page or Yelp business profile. You could refuse to create a strong web presence for your business but that doesn’t mean I can’t go out and leave a negative review about you.

Like it or not, people are having conversations about you and reviewing your business.

  • Google estimates that there are 2.4 billion conversations involving a brand every day in the U.S.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers share reviews with friends, family and colleagues
  • Yelp has 45 million unique visitors per month
  • 24 million reviews are expected to be written on Yelp by the end of 2011

You’re not going to be able to stop what consumers are saying about your business, but what you can do is stop viewing negative reviews about your business as an end-all for your business. They are only potentially an “end-all” when you don’t know about them or know about them and fail to act.

Every negative review is an opportunity. Repeat that with me: EVERY NEGATIVE REVIEW IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

Here’s why these negative reviews are really opportunities in disguise.

  1. An online negative review means you actually know when and where your business has failed a customer.
    Let’s face it, people are chatting about your business. Ten years ago though you had absolutely no idea when or what they were saying. Now you do. This means you can now correct whatever weaknesses your business has because your customers are alerting you about them through their reviews. No longer are you flying blind trying to guess where your customer service weaknesses lie.
  2. A negative review presents a great opportunity to showcase just how good your customer service really is.
    Let’s take this example. Not too long ago my family had a bad experience at a Chipotle’s. Since I’m an avid reviewer, I wrote about this experience on Yelp and gave the location a 1 out of 5 star rating. Now here’s where the opportunity part comes into play.  Chipotle could have just ignored this negative review or they could act upon it by proving that they really do offer great customer service. They chose the latter by sending me a direct message apologizing for the incident that occurred and offering my entire family a complimentary meal. Certainly made me feel better. Now, they could have capitalized on this even further by writing a public apology and offer so that anyone who was thinking about coming to this location will know that even if they have a not-so-pleasant experience, the business is willing to right the so-called wrongs. It is an opportunity to prove your customer satisfaction guarantee. Even if you can’t make that one particular customer happy, what you can do is let all the other potential customers know that you will do whatever it takes to ensure customer satisfaction for all customers.
  3. A negative builds the credibility and authenticity of positive reviews.
    No business can satisfy 100% of their customers. Having one negative or slightly negative review among a plethora of positive reviews add to the credibility and authenticity of your positive reviews. Not so perfect reviews means that the other published reviews are genuine and most likely not fabricated. They establish authenticity.

Most shoppers rely heavily on customer reviews. In fact, 86% of consumers consult online reviews before buying and 90% of consumers trust the reviews they read. And 78% of consumers say reviews are important when deciding what to buy.

“Human nature is to look and find negativity first, so don’t be afraid to be a human first and show some of your imperfection – it’s all well. Thus, negative reviews can help make you a better business. How can we all improve if everyone said that we were perfect? We cannot, and that’s the truth” (Ritu Singh).

Harness the tremendous opportunity potential in negative reviews. Convert something that could potentially taint your business reputation into something that can build a more positive perception about your business. And remember, people are already talking about you. It’s time you joined the conversation.

What techniques have you used when you encountered a negative review about your business?

Have you seen examples where business owners have responded poorly or well to negative reviews?


Read More About Online Reputation Management & Reviews


Author: Leslie Whittaker

To learn more about how you can creat opportunities out of egative online reviews, contact TeamBishop today. Dawn Bishop and Leslie Whittaker are here to help you

reachcast---reputation-monitoring-social-media--web-presence/33366" target="_blank">build a positive web presence for your business and can offer lots of helpful tips and tricks to help you.

TeamBishop is your local Internet marketing consultants with ReachLocal Orlando. Our mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven online marketing strategies. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.

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