When you think of negative reviews, you might imagine yourself jumping off a dock, into a lake, or curling up in a ball under your desk. You might say reviews are tough to deal with, frightening to look at and difficult to manage.
“Why should I care about these reviews anyway?” You might think to yourself after a long day of work, when all you want to do is go home. Just now, you’re looking at your reviews across at least five different review sites, which you didn’t have time for earlier because, well, you spent all day working.
With all of these reviews comes the question of what kind of feedback is important versus what isn’t. The answer: all customer feedback is important. Even the negative — especially the negative.
Dr. Nancy Irwin, a therapist and speaker, responds to negative reviews in a respectful and assertive tone. She believes the way customers should judge a business is based on how the business responds to negative reviews.
“We don’t learn anything or show who we are by praise and adulation,” she said. “We have a great opportunity to show what we stand for by our responses to negative reviews.”
Here are three more reasons why you should never delete a negative review:
Deal With the Problem
Reviews highlight a problem or customer experience issue that may otherwise be hidden. There can be amazing insights within negative reviews that are just waiting to be uncovered. Stay on top of issues and use customer feedback to improve your business.
Keep the Customer
If you respond to the review, you have a better chance of keeping the customer, as opposed to if you never responded to the review.
A.J. Saleen, academic director for Suprex Learning, said, “I think keeping a negative review is an opportunity in disguise. The way a company deals with negativity or unhappy clients says a lot about the business itself. A company’s true colors come out when they are under pressure. A negative review allows others to see how gracefully a business can deal with a problem and how eager they are to take care of their clients.”
In addition, potential customers will see how you responded to the review.
“Every business gets negative reviews,” Dr. Irwin added. “Wise consumers will consider the source as best they can and make a decision based on the business owner’s response to that person.”
More Customers Will Find You
Leave the negative reviews where they are.
- Businesses that are engaged on online review sites attract four times more page views and 63 percent higher popularity rankings on TripAdvisor, according to a report by TripAdvisor and Atmosphere Research Group.
- Also, an increase of 8 to 100 reviews in review volume leads to an increase in organic search traffic. Moreover, if your review volume increases by more than 100 reviews, you will gain product insights by having enough reviews to see trends in customer feedback.
- According to Search Engine Journal, reviews influence up to 10 percent of a business’s search ranking.
Negative reviews are good for your business. They provide insights, prompt you to deal with critical problems, and help bring in new customers. So don’t delete them. Instead, craft an online review and customer feedback strategy that enables your organization to listen and respond to your customers, including your harshest critics.