Consumers are highly dependent on a company’s reputation based on online reviews. Negative reviews can result in reduced revenue and ruin the reputation of a business.
Studies show 82 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. About 52% of people between the ages of 18 – 54 admit to reading reviews before purchasing.
Our research shows bad reviews can result in a negative or a positive outcome.
Consumer Lack of Trust
The average customer has confidence in a company with a 4.5-star review. A 5-star review is hard to believe for most. Less than 4.5-star is perceived as a business that can’t be trusted.
A Business article shows that customers believe that a company with a few bad online reviews is normal. The trust exists with this thinking in mind versus a company with all positive reviews. It means that the more bad reviews a company has, the less likely a consumer can trust that business.
Bringing in real, positive reviews from a company’s own clients can be further assisted with help from an online reputation management company such as Massive Brand Online. Reputable search engines that include Google will recognize a company with a high volume of positive reviews. It can result in a business page ranked as number one of the first page for a specific industry.
Consumers relate to companies with a personal branding strategy. One way a business can appear personal is to resolve problems online successfully.
How to Deal with Bad Reviews
Online reviews are a representation of a company’s branding, conflict resolution strategies, and customer service. If these factors do not exist, a company can lose thousands if not millions, in revenue.
A company that believes that fake reviews or a malicious customer post are manipulating its online reputation, a company can review the situation to delete and re-index reviews. The first step in handling a negative review is to do the following:
- Respond within hours to the customer
- Discuss the matter on the phone or in-person
- Listen to the issue and provide solutions
- Investigate the issue before a resolution
After the problem is resolved, ask the customer if they can add a new review or include a comment on the existing review of the positive outcome.
The Positive Side of a Bad Review
A negative review can be an opportunity for your business. Problem resolution is an expectation customer has once published a complaint online. About 51% of consumers expect a company to respond to a review in less than seven days. A company apologizes and sets up an opportunity to solve with customers can reverse the appearance of a negative review. Potential customers will perceive this as a company that practices customer service and cares about fixing problems.
In today’s economy, a small to medium-sized business can lose business as a result of bad reviews. A high volume of bad reviews cannot build consumer trust. On the contrary, a conflict resolution strategy for handling these issues can result in a positive customer experience. A company that is a victim of fake reviews can seek help to remove it online. It is important to manage and be proactive in monitoring reviews periodically to gain consumer trust.