If you own a business, you’ll need to reach a wider audience to gain any type of foot traffic (both on and off-line) in today’s web-centric world. Chances are you’re looking to build a larger online presence in order to reach even more potential customers who may be interested in your product or service, by way of social media, online directories a website (with a blog), etc. Since everyone, including businesses like Paradise Grilling Systems, wants to be the “best business”, with the product that everyone must have, online marketing can get a little competitive.
The rise of social media, instant sharing apps, and online directories has increased the demand for honest and unpaid online reviews. Just as the internet and how we use it continues to evolve, so are consumers and how they purchase products and services. According to an infographic by Business 2 Community:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews (89% read more than 2 reviews, and 15% read up to 11 reviews)
- 88% trust online reviews when considering a business
Another study found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations
With 86% of potential consumers relying on reviews to purchase your products and 88% percent of them trusting reviews as if they were personally recommended, you can see why reviews are quickly becoming one of the most critical elements of a business’s marketing strategy. In spite of this, one negative review isn’t going to make or break your business, in fact, a couple negative reviews may actually help your business.
How, you may be wondering? We’ll show you.
Why Bad Reviews Are Actually A Good Thing
As previously mentioned, the way we use the internet is evolving and with this so is everything else. As more and more online marketing firms catch on to the idea that “reviews are where it’s at”, they will increase their marketing strategies to encompass the reviews of their clients. What does this mean? Online marketers are looking to get as many five star reviews as possible. While this strategy may seem bulletproof there is one caveat. Consumers have caught on.
Any smart consumer who is using the world wide web to make purchases, knows that a business with expertly written reviews and all five stars didn’t come by them organically. Generally speaking, most people understand that people, as well as businesses aren’t perfect and they don’t expect them to be. If they see a business with only good reviews, they assume that either they have “buried” the bad reviews or the reviews are fake.
Both are bad for business.
This does not imply, however, that you should have someone write a few bad reviews or that you should lower your standards of business in order to get a few negative assessments, but what you can do is let your marketing release their death grip on perfect reviews for your business and instead focus on review management.
On the flip side, too many bad reviews for a business like Paradise Grilling Systems, can greatly impact their bottom line. Below, you will find information on how to manage bad reviews and other pitfalls to avoid.
How to Deal With Bad Reviews
Many businesses, Paradise Grilling Systems included, have received one or two bad reviews and while this doesn’t necessarily denote negative repercussions, bad reviews need to be dealt with. Depending on the type and how many bad reviews your business has stacked against them, will determine the system in which you need to approach these reviews. Business.com shows us what to do when your company or product inevitably gets some bad reviews:
- Let it be. If you’re only looking at one or two bad reviews, don’t lose sleep over it. Focus on fixing the problem by reaching out to the customer and move forward. Your focus should be the continuation of collecting more positive reviews.
- Let your customers know how much reviews matter to you and your business. You can do this by encouraging customers to leave a review on the sites that matter most to you and even offering incentives for every review left, positive or negative.
- Reach out to the customer for unique incidents. Basically, if a patron leaves a negative review and it’s the only 1 out of 20, it’s your job as a business owner to make amends. Apologize for the incident and then offer to speak with them further offline, so that they know they are being heard is your best route. Once you have heard the customers issues and concerns, offer them a refund and/or a gift card if appropriate. While one or two bad reviews won’t greatly affect your business, leaving them unanswered or worse, arguing online with the customer, could negatively impact on your business.
- Pay attention to patterns. If for some reason you are experiencing a slue of negative reviews and you notice a pattern in these reviews, such as “rude staff”, “inconsistency”, “faulting product”, etc., it’s time to take a deeper look at your business practices. Sometimes bad reviews can only be curbed by an internal restructuring and/or rebranding. If this is the case, let your customers know! People don’t want to be left in the dark, so let them in on what you’re doing to correct the issues and how much time you estimate it taking.
Sometimes even after you’ve done everything in your power to make something right, the consumer is still unhappy. If this is your current situation and the problem continues escalate, you may need to consider getting a lawyer. However for the one or two random bad reviews left by customers, send a thank you letter. They may just have increased your business.