4 Reasons To Respond To Negative Reviews

Online-reviewsWhen you get a bad review it can be like a shot to the heart. Literally. It hurts. As small business owners and employees we take our work very seriously. It is our livelihood and, more importantly, our families depend on it. Of course, not all reviews are bad and the good outweigh the bad in terms of number of reviews out there and how they affect sales and customer perception.

Reviews are so important to business that as businesses owners and marketers, we need to encourage people to write them.

The Psychology Of Writing Reviews

Why do people write reviews? Despite what you might think, it's not to harm you.

  • For 87% of people, altruism inspired their reviews.
  • 47% of people write reviews to "help others decide."
  • 18% of people felt a responsibility to return the favor because they believe reviews help them decide on what product to purchase.

The bottom line is people like to be heard and want to feel important. Writing a review can do that.

The Power Of Good Reviews

We know that good reviews are much more important in the long run than the bad ones. Obviously, the goal is to have more good reviews than bad reviews because that means you have a good product or service.

Reviews encourage people to purchase. In fact, those who read reviews convert at a much higher rate than those who don't read reviews. They are actually 105% more likely to make a purchase and will spend 11% more.

More Statistics 

  • 87% of consumers are influenced by positive reviews.
  • Consumers trust customer reviews 12x more than manufacturers' descriptions.
  • 64% of people search for customer reviews before making a purchase
  • 55% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product with high ratings.
  • 83% of holiday shoppers are influenced by reviews
  • 18% increase in sales generated from customer reviews
  • Products with 50+ reviews are 4.6% likelier to convert

The Bad News

There's good news and there is bad news. The bad news is, the review will be online publicly for the world to see. According to a study, a one-star difference in ratings can result in a 9% difference in revenue. Ouch.

Unfortunately, when people are upset with a particular product or service there is a pretty good chance that they want to get revenge on you and your company and warn others of all the terrible things you have done.

However, you have the power to confront the reviewer and save face. The benefits of reacting in a calm and respectful manner are many. Here are 4 reasons why you should be responding to negative reviews. And while you're at it, you should probably thank people for their good reviews as well.

4 Reasons To Respond To Negative Reviews

1. Change The Perception Of Reviewer And Shopper
According to a recent study by Bazaarvoice, 7 out of 10 respondents said their opinion was changed after a business responded o a review.  Furthermore, when a potential buyer saw that the businesses responded they showed a higher purchase to intent.

2. Show You Have Great Customer Service
Responding to a review shows that you are listening and you care about your customers. In the social world we are living in consumers demand to be heard and demand to be responded to. Why do you think Nordstrom is so liked? They have the best customer service and an open return policy. It keeps me shopping there.

3. Gain Insight
By responding to a negative review you are giving your business the opportunity to gain insight from the interaction. If you'd like to really dig deep, then you can take the conversation offline, to the phone or even to email and learn more about what went wrong and how you can fix it internally so it doesn't happen to others.

4. Build A Relationship
Because you responded you are now in the mind of that customer. You have the opportunity to build that relationship further and support your customer since the initial contact has already been made. Get their email or social profile and keep the communication going and pat them on the back every now and then.

Have you experienced a turn around in behavior after responding to a negative review online?

Stephanie Frasco

Stephanie Frasco, VP Social Media Marketing, started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Stephanie Frasco - October 9, 2013 Reply

Have you experienced a turn around in behavior after responding to a negative review online?

Bertrand Carton - October 28, 2013 Reply

Thanks Stephanie for this very interesting article. I couldn’t agree more. Just last week, Seth Godin was writing a small note on the fact that the complaining customer doesn’t want a refund.
Every day, we companies being so afraid of negative comments that they refuse to go on and collect reviews from their customers. They don’t realise that there is no way they can stop it from happening.
At Trustpilot, we encourage companies to answer to criticism. We just published a small e-guide that explains how to turn these complaints into customers. Feel free to download it here > http://trst.pl/1g6ofGl
Looking forward to next blog entry.
Best regards,
Bertrand Carton

Ari Herzog - February 26, 2014 Reply

Hi Stephanie, I’ve long believed that critics only exist if you’re successful. And, outreach to that critic is a positive step to a greater review. Do you agree?

How To Handle Complaints On Social Media - Convert With Content - June 24, 2014 Reply

[…] If you don't know why you should respond, you should read this article that I wrote here. […]

What Facebook's New "Buy Button" Means for Your Business | Findsome & Winmore - September 3, 2014 Reply

[…] to Convert With Content 87% of consumers are influenced by positive reviews, and trust customer reviews 12x more than […]

Leave a Reply: