Negative online reviews can open up a source of opportunity for your business. Initially, you might think that concealing or removing negative reviews of your business from websites would be eminently sensible – market logic dictates that you want to protect your brand and make sure that your online presence is wholly positive.
Yet recent research suggests that such reviews can be turned to your advantage; it is a question of responding openly and transparently to negativity, making your business more trustworthy by remedying complaints and increasing customer satisfaction and engagement in the process.
A recent Reevoo survey advises that users spend five times longer on sites containing negative reviews compared to those sites that contain only positive reviews, with less than one per cent of customers leaving a site after reading a negative review.
Simply put, customers are more likely to believe positive reviews of your business if they also see negative reviews, too. 68% of respondents to the survey trust reviews more when there are good and bad reviews alongside each other, with a massive 95% suspecting censorship or fake reviews when there are no bad review scores to be found.
Ironically, negative reviews are also far more popular online than positive reviews, with customers five times more likely to seek them out than positive reviews.
All businesses – whether online or offline – inevitably incur negative reviews, because it is impossible to please all of your customers all of the time. Thinking about it logically, then, the real-world ideal is to address complaints and turn them around, while encouraging your more satisfied customers to testify to the positive experiences they have had. If you look at negative reviews as an opportunity to improve, your business can only get stronger as a result.