There are more than 1.5 billion websites present on the World Wide Web today. As a website owner, you may think the key to success is acquiring as many positive reviews as possible.
While there is some truth to this, many website owners don’t know how beneficial negative reviews can be. They can actually help with your online reputation – believe it or not!
Bad reviews provide website owners with unique opportunities. Keep reading to learn why benefits they offer, and why you shouldn’t panic if you get one.
1. Nurture Consumer Trust
Trust is a key element of social commerce. Most consumers value reviews because they trust the unedited opinions provided by other consumers. In fact, this source of information is much more trusted than official sources of information, such as sales assistants and advertising pros.
The truth is, people are naturally sceptical of sites where all the reviews give the same, high marks. After all, no service or product is going to please everyone, all the time.
If all the reviews you have seem to come from a team of marketing experts, then customers are going to become untrusting of the entire brand. If you lose customer trust, you also lose sales.
When you have a few bad reviews, it gives customers a reason to believe what the good reviews say.
2. Increase Engagement
Bad reviews are an extremely popular aspect of any website. In fact, many more consumers seek out these negative reviews than they do positive ones.
Negative reviews are also more popular than reviews from “people like me” and recent reviews.
Keep in mind, just because a consumer is searching for a negative review, it doesn’t mean they are looking for a reason not to buy. Instead, they are digging deep to ensure they choose the right product or service.
People who look for bad reviews are likely to stick around a website much longer than normal visitors and they are going to view quite a few more pages. If they encounter a service or product that is badly reviewed, then the consumer is just going to move on to another site.
Keep in mind, very few people are going to leave your site because they found one negative review. Also, the longer they remain on your page, the longer you can convince them to make a purchase.
The bottom line – bad reviews can encourage highly-engaged shoppers.
3. Gain Unbeatable Business Insight
It can be difficult to listen to any type of criticism. However, the criticism received in the way of a bad review can be a valuable type of “warning system” from your customers. This is, of course, if you are actually listening to them.
If you have a specific service or product that’s suddenly receiving bad reviews, you can continue to ignore the feedback. This is going to result in increased returns, as well as reduced customer satisfaction. Over the long term, it can damage your brand significantly.
On the flip side, if you opt to listen to what customers are saying and respond in a timely manner, you can take action. This action may be to change the aspects of your services or products before you begin to lose money.
It’s also a good idea to publicly notify the reviewer (more about this up next!).
Bad reviews provide you with the type of detailed feedback you would usually receive from thousands of pounds of market research. With negative feedback, you can improve everything – from product design and customer service to marketing and more.
4. Use Bad Reviews to Your Advantage
There are many consumers who seek out negative reviews when searching for something by sorting all the reviews by the lowest score first. They may also look for low-scoring reviews that other people found helpful.
When you track people’s interactions with reviews, extensive user testing, and consumer surveys, you can gain a huge understanding of consumers’ attitudes to a bad review. This can help you make important decisions regarding the product or service that’s getting these bad reviews.
5. Use it as an Opportunity to “Look Good”
The content of any negative review you receive becomes less important – instantly – when you get involved and respond to it. This is true – for better or worse.
You may have the attitude that you don’t want to dignify the comment with a response. In fact, this is one of the top reasons business owners don’t respond.
They are worried that if a reply is posted, the complaint is going to become true, or it is going to turn into a bigger deal than it is. However, there’s a serious problem with this logic.
The people who are reading the review don’t know anything beyond what is posted in the review. They also see no response.
When you respond to a customer complaint it increases customer advocacy. If you ignore them, it will reduce customer advocacy. The strategy here is to take a deep breath and respond to all the negative comments you receive.
Bad Reviews: They Aren’t All Bad
As you can see, despite what you have heard in the past, bad reviews aren’t all bad. The key is to use them to your advantage and never ignore them.
Are you searching for more business advice? If so, be sure to check out our blog on how to grow a small business. Our team is dedicated to making sure you have all the information and resources needed to grow a successful small business.