Of course most businesses want positive reviews, but every now and then it is bound to happen: you receive the dreaded negative online review. Maybe it's on Yelp or Facebook, or perhaps the offended party leaves a review on every single platform they can possibly think of.
Your initial reaction may be to become defensive. But before you panic, remember that a negative review can actually have a positive impact on your business. And here's a few of the reasons why:
They Make You More Credible
Have you ever looked through reviews on a product or a local business and only found five star reviews? There's something about a perfect streak of amazing reviews that sets a whole bunch of alarm bells off in our minds. As humans, we immediately doubt the validity of such positive reviews, jumping to suspicious theories regarding the origin of such impeccable reviews.
Surprising though it may seem, we are far more likely to trust the product or business that has a few negative reviews in the mix. Something about seeing that one person going off about a perceived flaw in the product or service makes us feel more comfortable with trying it out for ourselves.
And the good news is we often roll our eyes at the bad reviewer, because we all know that one overly critical person.
They Can Demonstrate Your Classy Service
It's easy to take negative reviews personally and immediately go on the defensive, but you can truly demonstrate your superior customer service and classiness by responding in a well thought out manner.
But before jumping right in, a word of caution: don't simply leave a canned and / or vague response. Be genuine and specific when addressing negative reviews. Your potential costumers can tell if you're just copy and pasting the same response to everyone, or genuinely taking an interest in what the reviewer had to say and addressing it accordingly.
Prove your classy customer service and create responses that demonstrate you genuinely care and are willing to make the issue right.
They Provide an Opportunity for Improvement
Who do you think learns more: the person who is always told their work is amazing, or the person who receives constructive (or perhaps not so constructive) feedback? If you never receive any kind of negative feedback, you simply have to guess at what needs to be improved or, alternatively, you fall into a false sense of security regarding your product or service.
When you receive a negative review, instead of becoming defensive and angry, view it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your offerings and make any necessary improvements. Of course, some reviews are just a one-off bad experience, but others may point to a deeper issue with your staff's training, a product flaw, or something else that can and should be addressed.
Plus, if you truly do address the issue, you can leave a response on the review demonstrating how you plan to improve the issues mentioned.
Although your natural response is to defend your online reputation at all costs, negative reviews can actually strengthen your business's reputation when viewed with the right perspective and handled correctly. So next time you see the dreaded one star, take a deep breath and recognize the value behind that negative review for your company and respond accordingly.