Negative reviews can feel like a business owner’s worst nightmare. They can feel like a personal attack. How dare they say that about my business, my baby that I have worked so hard for and nurtured into what it is today?? What most business owners don’t realize is that negative reviews can be turned into one of the greatest opportunities in your online marketing efforts.
Business owners can benefit from negative reviews in several ways. Two of the most important: First, consumers trust reviews more when they see a mix of positive and negative reviews. Second, responding to a negative review can show potential customers that you really give a darn.
A social commerce company named Reevoo released research that suggests that negative reviews are good for business. Their research found that:
- 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores
- 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all
- shoppers who go out of their way to read bad reviews convert 67% more than the average consumer
It’s evident that negative reviews create a sense of trust among potential customers. But the real value in a negative review is the golden opportunity it presents for you to show your true colors. People who are really interested in doing business with you are going to scroll down until they find the negative reviews. People want the dirt on your business. They want to know what the worst scenarios are. Once they find the reviews, they want to see how you handled them. Were you polite? Were you apologetic? Did you fix the problem? Were you a pushover? Did you express empathy?
Take the time to craft responses that address the issue. Make sure you don’t push all the blame onto the customer. Remember that your responses will have two different audiences: the reviewer, and the potential customers who will be reading it.
Understanding the opportunity of negative reviews will hit most business owners like a great epiphany. Embrace them and treat them like one of the most valued tools in your marketing toolbox.