Negative customer feedback can be positive for your business if you get just one thing right. How you respond can create positive outcomes from negative customer feedback.
Negative Customer Feedback Can Be Positive for Your Business
Customer reviews and ratings have the power to positively impact sales for nearly every type of business; but all reviews aren’t created equal. Negative customer feedback can hurt not just sales but company reputation, morale, and even feelings; however, you can turn negative reviews around and produce positive outcomes for your business.
Responding Positively to Negative Customer Feedback
As a business owner, it’s natural to want to focus on the positives and use successes as a springboard to grow. But remember, as Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Poor experiences that lead to negative customer feedback are one of your richest sources of information. When scrutinized, they may well provide your biggest opportunities for future success.
When negative customer feedback emerges, it’s crucial to discover where negative reviews are coming from and determine the most positive ways you can respond to these sometimes-tricky situations. Discover the power of the review for your company and the best ways to respond to negative consumer feedback as a business owner.
What’s the best way to respond to negative customer feedback?
Start with a positive attitude. Don’t look at negative reviews as a bad thing, but as an opportunity to beat your competition. 52 percent of buyers say they trust a product more if they have a few negative reviews, especially when they see that a company has properly responded. It sends the message that if something isn’t right, you stand by your products or services. As a business owner, you understand it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in business. Your consumers understand also. So, how do you respond?
1. Personally encourage positive reviews: It can be as simple as leaving comment saying “thanks for the great review, glad you’re happy!’, or as complex as calling or emailing the customer. Either way, make this a priority, make sure it feels personal, and make it public.
2. Follow up with negative reviews: Often times, it’s best to do this publically. As a business owner, if you have the time to do this personally, it’s highly recommended. Sometimes, things get heated and it’s best to have a personal phone call with the customer. Even if resolved privately, responding publicly is essential because it shows others that you took action. Make sure to acknowledge the customer’s dissatisfaction, empathize with the pain it caused, and thank them for being honest, so that you can make your company better.
3. Show your work: The most important step above all else is to take action on your negative reviews and show what you’ve done. Use your website and social media to run “we heard you, and as a result…”, campaigns to show you not only understand the pains of your consumers, but you care enough to make the changes you need.
Reviews are important.
Online reviews are one of the most powerful forms of word of mouth marketing today. When many business owners say their business is mostly from ‘word of mouth’, many of those references came from a digital word of mouth: the online review. In fact, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
Numbers don’t lie; 88 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. While you may have heard this statistic before, it’s important for you to understand that it means more than “get as many online reviews as you can.”
Quality matters, too. Consider the relationship between quantity and quality of online reviews, and the impact of negative customer feedback, as it relates to these sales statistics:
- Consumers spend 31 percent more with a business that has “excellent reviews”
Even if you don’t have great reviews yet (we’ll get to that later), remember how much more your consumers spend when you get there.
- 78 percent of buyers who read reviews were satisfied with their final purchase:
This comes down to expectation setting. As a business owner, understand your clients will be exponentially happier when they fully understand what they’re getting into.
- 89 percent of your customers will make a purchase within one week of reading reviews:
Do you want to eliminate shopping cart abandonment and help finalize purchase decisions? The power of the review will expedite the decisions of sometimes wishy-washy consumer behavior.
As a business owner, the power of the review should inspire you to want more reviews and respond positively to negative customer feedback. But how do you get there?
Ask for reviews: This is the most important one. It’s where the quote “Ask and you shall receive” has never been more true. You don’t have to be pushy and aggressive as a company to ask for a review, either. It can be as simple as letting consumers know where they can give you a review and making it easily achievable.
Use social media networks: As a business owner, you have great connections and have built a vast social media network for yourself. Use this to offer deals to consumers, put out rich, useful content for your consumers regularly, and give the opportunity for your followers to have their voice be heard. Scheduling a live Q and A can be a great way to drive and open up discussions about your business.
Understanding the power of the review for your business not only helps you get better as a business owner a company, but helps you get ahead of your competition. While focusing on making your strengths even better is important to success, understanding your weaknesses and addressing negative customer feedback is just as critical. Making customer reviews a priority for your business helps your business succeed and evolve.