Before the appearance of social media, consumers looking to complain had to write letters or contact a company on the phone. Right now, negative reviews can appear in an instant of customer dissatisfaction. Voicing your frustration has never been so easy.
Taking this development into consideration, businesses should not only respond to negative feedback but also try and leverage them.
Bad Reviews Stay Online
As previously, customers had to reach out to the company by phone or mail and regardless of the conflict outcome, the issue was always privately discussed.
Now that the web has made everything available to everyone, whatever happens online stays there.
Online feedback isn’t limited to review websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Complaints and reviews are spread everywhere on social media platforms, which makes it incredibly easy to share. While 10 years ago there was no such thing as bad publicity, with the digital age it becomes increasingly more difficult to alleviate negative impact on reputation.
Saying Nothing is Saying Something
For many of us, it can feel pretty personal when you never hear back from a business you made a complaint to. After all, you took the time to give them feedback, an acknowledgement is the least they can do.
Ignoring a complaint will send the wrong message to the customer — that the company doesn’t care or isn’t willing to at least consider the complaint.
Moreover, responding to negative reviews also shows everyone reading the review (including prospects) that you care about customers and their experience with your brand.
Negative Reviews Can Escalate
Unfortunately, even letting one bad review unanswered can negatively affect your reputation.
According to studies bad word of mouth nowadays spreads even faster. Users tend to over-share, and this is especially true of negative mentions that can easily escalate into a tweet-storm or a row of comments on Facebook.
People have a tendency to side with the victimized party and will easily share bad review to spread the word. Reports show that over half of customers share bad experiences with five or more people, while only 33% share their good experiences.
It’s Not All Bad with Reviews
You can strive for a perfect track record, but no business can fully satisfy everyone’s expectations.
However having bad reviews doesn’t necessarily make you a bad business. An impeccable review score will create a sense of fake-ness around your review profile
Customers therefore already expect businesses to deal with bad reviews. While having a few negative reviews may add to your authenticity, you still have to deal with them accordingly to avoid major setbacks with your online reputation.