There’s a common misconception that negative reviews mean you have an unsuccessful business. However, that’s often not the case. Bad reviews can support both you and the consumer in different ways.
A mixture of positive and negative feedback can help you become more credible, figure out your weakest areas and improve your company’s efforts.
Also, who says negative reviews are always bad?
Some negative reviews may not always be seen as negative to everyone. For instance, let’s say your company sells coffee. You receive a bad review saying that your coffee is too weak, and that’s why they didn’t like it. However, there are some consumers out there who enjoy drinking weak coffee. So, that ‘negative’ review can actually persuade them to buy your product.
At the end of the day, reviews are the subjective opinions of your customers and, what might not work for someone, may for someone else.
Negative reviews are more beneficial than you think, so embrace them!
Negative Reviews Help Your Business Grow
“Your Most Unhappy Customers Are Your Greatest Source of Learning.” — Bill Gates
We are not perfect, none of us are, but we aspire to be the best business out there. The way to reach this goal is through constant improvement, taking in constructive criticisms and acting accordingly. Negative reviews show some of your business’s problems, but they also offer solutions. Indeed, customers will write their unbiased opinions about their experience with you, helping you understand what needs immediate attention.
If you pay for fake positive reviews or silence negative reviews, consumers will notice. That’s why keeping authentic, user-generated content is essential to build a credible business.
Also, if a customer writes a review on your company stating they were unhappy with something specific, chances are, another customer will have the same experience. The best way to handle the repetition of bad reviews is to solve the problem instead of ignoring it. Because, ultimately, this comment will come back in the future and hurt your reputation.
So, listen to your customers when they offer constructive criticisms. You can ignore them if you wish, but that won’t lead you anywhere. It may work against you as other customers will see that acknowledging and resolving negative reviews are not important to you, which may put them off buying from your company in the future. However, if you acknowledge them and take action, it will help you improve, grow and exceed your customer’s expectations.
Uber, Starbucks and Hyatt Hotels
More than 40% of businesses don’t collect feedback from customers. However, there are some companies who use customer feedback to learn and grow their brand based on listening to their audience. It’s no surprise these businesses are well-known and successful.
If you’ve ever used Uber before, then you know how it works. After you request a ride, the app will state how much time it will take for one of their drivers to pick you up. Once the driver has confirmed the pickup, you will also see who the driver is, the car model and license plate number along with a star rating.
To say Uber is customer focused is an understatement. The company relies on feedback from both the riders and their drivers to maintain an excellent service.
At the end of every trip, the rider is asked to rate their experience from one to five stars, and if he or she wishes, can give reasons behind their given rating. Likewise, drivers can do the same if they feel that a user has been disrespectful,aggressive or even a perfect customer.
Uber frequently checks these reviews to see which drivers are excelling at their job and giving great customer service, and who is not. In fact, in Uber’s Newsroom, they explain that this feedback helps the company solve problems that their users have encountered:
“While ensuring that only the best drivers stay on the road. We take this feedback seriously – depending on the circumstances, rider feedback may lead to deactivating a partner from the system or serve as validation that the driver is providing great service.” – Uber Newsroom
Uber utilizes real-time customer feedback to maintain high standards and improve their business by constantly solving any problems or queries that their users have brought to their attention.
Starbucks, the multinational coffeehouse chain, constantly focuses on customer feedback to improve its products and services. What is great about this brand is the community feel it has created. Starbucks has built a loyal customer base who know exactly what they want and, through loyalty programmes and rewards, continue to come back time and time again. Indeed, the more you buy from Starbucks, the more benefits you’ll get.
But there’s more. Starbucks wouldn’t be this successful if it didn’t constantly listen to its customers’ opinions and act on their feedback. Their customers are the ones who know best what products they want to purchase. So, why not learn from them?
In 2008, the company launched My Starbucks Idea, a crowdsourcing initiative where customers could write down product and service ideas and discuss them through likes and comments.
This submission website was a great success. In fact, after five years, Starbucks created an infographic showing what they had achieved so far.
Today, My Starbucks Idea has removed its community and interaction features but still allows its customers to make suggestions.
In the suggestion form, you can select what your idea is based on to help Starbucks better understand your thought process (e.g. coffee drinks, delivery, food, Starbucks rewards etc.) You also have to let them know if your idea is a new suggestion, an improvement to an existing product or service or a request to bring a product back. Finally, you can write down your idea in 500 characters or less and submit it.
Whether it is a positive suggestion or negative feedback, Starbucks does a great job of taking its customers’ opinions to improve their products and customer experience. Without these suggestion forms and interactions, Starbucks would not have free Wi-Fi, pumpkin spice latte VIA, cake pops, mobile payments and much more.
Also, the company clearly states that if any of its customers are having a problem or query, they should contact the brand via email so they can solve the issue in a timely manner. This message shows how willing they are to constantly improve their company. Indeed, even on social media, Starbucks clearly shows how dedicated they are to keeping their customers happy, all whilst growing and improving.
The reviewer is upset that the barista gave them the wrong beverage; not only was it not their order, but the customer also says that the new product (the funnel cake frappuccino) is “disgusting”. Starbucks replies empathically, understanding the disappointment the customer might be feeling and apologizing for the mistake. The company also asks for the location of the store so they can take action based on this issue. It’s also interesting to see how another customer (after Starbucks’ response) says that they are one of the only ones who like this new product, suggesting how much negative feedback the funnel cake frappuccino has received. If Starbucks is indeed taking on this constructive criticism, it’s quite probable that this product won’t appear again in the future.
One of the best ways for someone to get a real idea of what customers are saying about Starbucks is to visit third-party review platforms. At Psydro, Starbucks has an average star rating of 4.9, with most of the customers being satisfied with the products and services the brand offers.
By listening to positive and negative consumer feedback, Starbucks is doing an amazing job at creating great customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Hyatt is a multinational hotel franchise established in 1957. In around 60 years, the company has built different lodgings depending on clients’ needs and wants. They include HYATT, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and many others. In total, they have over 1,000 hotels worldwide.
One aspect that makes this hotel chain so popular and successful is its customer satisfaction. They use two main channels that collect customer feedback to improve and keep their customers content; these are social media platforms (hashtags on Twitter and Instagram) and feedback forms on areas of their website.
Especially with the latter, Hyatt can collect important feedback that helps them get a better insight into what they are doing well and what needs attention.
In fact, thanks to the feedback from its younger customers looking for more central locations and cheaper rates, Hyatt introduced a new brand of hotels called Hyatt Centric. These lodgings offer Millennial-friendly services such as fitness studios, socializing spaces, and bars offering a wide variety of drinks and bites.
Thanks to the feedback and reviews left by Hyatt customers, the company was able to adapt and satisfy their needs and wants. Indeed, by listening to the younger demographic of Hyatt users, the company managed to acquire a new target audience and expand their company even more.
Consumers Want to Read Authentic Reviews
At Psydro, you can invite customers to leave reviews on your product or service. Once a review has been written, it will be approved with a ‘Verified’ badge. This means that at Psydro, potential customers can read authentic and reliable feedback, knowing that the user has purchased from the brand and thus helping them make more informed purchasing decisions.
How to Deal with Dissatisfied Customers
Negative reviews won’t affect you as much if you have a strong relationship with your customers. Every business receives negative reviews. There will always be at least one person who isn’t happy with the product or service they purchased. That won’t change, but it’s how you deal with it that matters.
Replying to customer reviews can help increase customer loyalty.
On the one hand, responding to positive feedback will show other consumers that you’ve recognized you’ve done a great job and, you’re delighted to have a happy customer. However, replying to negative reviews is arguably even more important.
Responding to dissatisfied customers shows that you acknowledge their feedback and you’re working to improve on it. The more detailed answers you give, the better because potential consumers will see you care about your customers and thus be more tempted to shop from you.
According to Small Business Trends, 30% of consumers reverse negative reviews once their concern has been answered or solved. So, just because they have left a negative review, it doesn’t necessarily mean these customers won’t come back to you in the future and give your company another chance – it really depends on how you deal with their criticisms.
In marketing, empathy is everything, so use it to your advantage to create customer loyalty and stand out from the brands who decide to ignore constructive feedback.
How not to respond to negative reviews
When one of your customers takes time out from their day to write a review, you should reply to it as soon as possible. Ideally, this should happen within the first 24 to 48 hours but, if that’s not possible, reply whenever you can. Responding to this feedback will demonstrate to your customers how much you value their opinions, which in turn helps create a positive company image.
When replying to positive reviews, it’s always good to thank the reviewer and show them how much you appreciate their great feedback. Also, it’s always good to personalize the response to make it feel more genuine. What you are trying to achieve with this response is to encourage this customer to stay with you and become a brand advocate.
On the other hand, when you reply to a negative review, you should be more detailed with your response. Again, personalize the message whenever possible, and, most importantly, acknowledge the error that’s been made and sincerely apologize for it. No matter if it’s really your fault or not, the customer is always right, and you should try and put yourself in their shoes. So, take responsibility for what happened and make things right. Also, you don’t want to start a public dialogue with your customer, so make sure to keep the response short and sweet and move the conversation offline
Here are a few examples of how some of our verified businesses respond to negative reviews.
Kew Electrical is an award-winning, independent electrical wholesaler who, some months ago, subscribed to our top Orbit plan. Today, the company has an average star rating of 4.8 and has collected over 90 reviews.
Kew does a fantastic job at replying to customer feedback. With 97% of these being 4 and 5 stars, the business demonstrates through its responses how much they value their customers’ support and kind words. However, what’s even more admirable is how they respond to the negative reviews they receive.
First of all, Kew Electrical addresses the reviewer by their first name, acknowledging who they are and personalizing the message. This is immediately followed by an apology related to the feedback left by the customer. Within the final part of the response, Kew tries to make the situation right by offering a solution to the problem they have caused in the first place (poor communication).
This is a great reply to a negative review, all whilst keeping it short and sincere. In a few sentences, they have apologized and taken care of the problem.
Turquoise Blue Tattoo
Turquoise Blue Tattoo is a modern tattoo studio that also recently joined our top plan.
In total, they have collected 82 reviews and hold an impressive average of 5 stars. With around 98% of the reviews being a top star rating, the business does a great job at responding to customer reviews.
Also, their lowest feedback so far is a 3 star review, which is impressive. Even if it’s not a one-star review, the customer does point out an issue that left them unsatisfied. The way Turquoise Blue Tattoo responds to this review shows how much they care about their customers and how willing they are to take feedback on board.
Firstly, and most importantly, Turquoise Blue Tattoo apologises for the issue the reviewer is complaining about. They explain what might have been the cause without using it as an excuse.
Since the reviewer has stated that they already know how to take care of the tattoo, there was no point for the business to explain what to do. However, Turquoise Blue Tattoo does say that they will take the feedback on board, assuring the reviewer that no other customer will have this issue in the future. Finally, the response ends by thanking the reviewer for letting the company know about this problem.
Let Your Clients Help You Improve
Many businesses don’t have enough time to respond to reviews since they have to focus on other vital aspects of their company and it could become overwhelming when you are dealing with hundreds or even thousands of customers per week. That’s why we’ve come up with a solution. We’ve developed an Automated Feedback Reply feature where you can write several responses per star rating and set a time frame for when you wish the reply to be sent, making the whole experience for your customer truly personal whilst you sit back and focus on other things. If you wish to change the responses after some time, you can always do so from your Psydro dashboard.
This one-time setup will save you precious time whilst increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Improve Customer Trust
A fair counterbalance of good and bad reviews will help you build credibility and trust with your potential and existing customers. Consumers know that every business will have a few bad reviews, it’s normal, so they won’t scare easily and choose not to interact with you just because a few people didn’t give you 5 stars.
Actually, products or services that include one or more negative reviews have higher conversion rates than those that only have positive reviews.
What’s more, having too many good reviews looks suspicious. Consumers will start questioning whether the content is fake or think that you have deleted negative reviews. They know that not every customer will be 100% happy with your service, even if you try your best. This lack of information can decrease your business’s credibility and lower customer trust.
Expectations and Disappointment
Another reason why having too many good reviews is not ideal for your business is because it will lead to disappointment.
Not because your product or service is bad per se, but because it didn’t meet your customer’s expectations. Think about it. If you find that a business only has 5-star reviews, potential customers will expect the best of the best. On the other hand, if there’s a mix of positive and negative reviews, consumers will know what to expect, lower their expectations and probably be happier with their purchase.
Also, consumers don’t only want to read positive reviews, but also negative ones.
On average, 85% of consumers read negative reviews to help them make informed purchasing decisions. And this percentage increases to 91% among potential customers aged from 18 to 29 years-old.
They want to get an immersive insight into what it would be like to shop with you but also imagine a worst-case scenario. So, if potential customers can’t find any negative reviews on your company, that can be seen as a problem.
Embrace Negative Reviews
Scared of joining a review platform like Psydro because you’re afraid of receiving negative feedback? No matter what, you’ll get a negative review once in a while and, chances are, there’s already a platform out there where customers are already talking about you.
Ignoring these reviews won’t make them go away, but taking control of them will.
Reviews can help your business, more than you think. Do have a look at our different plans and see which package is the perfect fit for your business.
If you’re still unsure, you can always join our free Launch plan. It only takes a minute, no card details are needed and you’ll get a free, permanent plan that you can cancel whenever you want.