Bad online reviews of businesses have become the order of the day, and this situation is not likely to change any time soon. People are constantly competing to be the hardest to please, while others may be genuinely attempting to point out the areas you have underperformed. Regardless of their reasons, negative feedback doesn’t always have to be bad news for your business.
There are many reasons why you should welcome these reviews and use them as stepping stones to take your business to the next level. We know that buyers are influenced by good and bad feedback, however, many business owners only worry about the high praise they receive from customers. The number one reason you should embrace negative reviews boils down to the fact that they can help you improve your business. Below are some of the ways you can embrace negative business reviews to take your business to the next level.
Negative Reviews Can Help Find and Rectify Problems in Your Business
Most business owners are not always around to monitor what their employees are up to. There is no sure way of micromanaging how they treat your clients or represent your brand correctly. However, with negative reviews, you can have an “eye in the sky” to help you find the loopholes in your business operations.
On the flip side of things, proper analytics tools are what you should rely on to identify problems in your website or underperforming content. This, however, does not mean that user reviews are entirely useless. On the contrary, negative reviews are the best plug for actionable information. They can bring your attention to bitter truths and the areas that customers complain about a lot, helping you identify where immediate action is needed. With this at hand, you can fix the cracks in your business and make success a reality.
Negative Feedback Help to Uncover Competitive Opportunities
Other than bringing out your business issues, negative reviews serve as early warning bells. For instance, if you’re running a grocery store, positive feedback will hardly inform you about the areas where you can improve your products. On the other hand, negative reviews will rip off the band-aid and show you the cause of your products’ under-par performance and what you should do to improve.
Bad reviews will push you out of your comfort zone and nudge you to determine why customer satisfaction was inadequate. Ensure that you create a system of using these reviews as sources of actionable data from where you can start to improve your business and have the edge over your competitors.
Negative Feedback Can Be a Source of New Fans of Your Business
Bad reviews can also be viewed as opportunities for you to win over your critics and increase your fan base. Always be careful not to fall into the trap of ignoring or openly confronting customers who leave bad reviews. This fatal mistake has reduced countless businesses to nothing as it causes such companies to come off as villains. This, in turn, leads to people siding with the “victim”- a battle that many people rarely come out on top of.
The best strategy to take the negative review apart, pick the main message being relayed about your business, and address it. This could entail apologizing for a shortcoming from your end or even showing appreciation for the corrective criticism after acknowledging where you went wrong. Below is an excellent example of a response to a negative review from a restaurant customer.
Regardless of the approach you choose to take, ensure that you show you have listened to the issue being raised and that you’re taking the necessary steps to address it. By doing so, you can rest assured that you will have won over not only the client issuing the bad review but also the many people online witnessing how you handled the situation.
Regardless of how good your business is, it’s almost impossible to avoid bad reviews. They could be a result of dropping a few aspects of your standards or being out of malice from some salty competitor. However, how you deal with these reviews dictates how your current and potential customers will relate to you.
Above are some reasons why you’re better off embracing bad reviews, making the best out of them, and pushing your business to the next level. Do you have other reasons as to why companies should look forward to negative reviews from customers? We would appreciate it if you shared with us by commenting below.
Christine James believes that every customer has a voice. She is the Community Manager at HissingKitty.com (a customer complaints website) and loves talking to customers on social media about their challenges with Fortune 500 companies. Her work has been published on Huffington Post, Inc., SocialMediaToday, and Thought Catalog. Follow her on Twitter @hissingkittycom.