More users are seeing the value of online reviews before making a purchase from a business. Today, almost nine out of 10 consumers read reviews before making a purchase, which is why positive reviews from customers are crucial for businesses that want to sway their potential clients’ decisions in their favor.
However, generating reviews – and positive reviews, at that – is easier said than done. Research from 2020 found that you need at least 40 good reviews for most consumers to believe your positive rating. It also doesn’t help that people are more likely to leave negative feedback than positive reviews, and here’s why.
Why Are Bad Reviews More Likely Online?
In a 2013 study, software company Zendesk found that people are more likely to talk about negative experiences rather than positive ones. From their research:
- 95 percent of users were likely to share bad experiences, while 87 percent would share good experiences.
- 54 percent shared their bad experiences with more than five people, while 33 percent shared their good experiences with more than five people.
- 45 percent shared their bad experiences, while 30 percent shared good experiences on social media.
Here are some of the possible reasons why your customers left bad reviews:
1. Negative Reviews Are Inspired By Emotional Responses
Customers are more inclined to write negative reviews than positive reviews because of the heightened emotional response. Because of the way our brain reacts, negative emotions are processed more thoroughly. This is why negative experiences last longer in our minds and appear more urgent than negative emotions.
For customers, this means that by the time they leave your business, those with a bad experience are more likely to still feel negative emotions and may react to them, such as writing a negative review. In comparison, those with a positive experience may have already forgotten and may overlook creating positive reviews online.
2. Negative Reviews Are Given Unprompted
While businesses that perform well typically receive more positive reviews than negative ones, the emotional and psychological factors mentioned earlier may make it easier for customers to leave negative reviews. In comparison, businesses have to solicit positive reviews, provide promos in exchange for reviews or even resort to incentivizing reviews.
“There are more positive reviews than negative reviews, but people are way more likely to leave negative reviews without any prompt or request,” said Tim Clarke, Rize’s Senior Reputation Manager.
“Many positive reviews are solicited, but unhappy people are probably 10 times more likely to write a review than happy customers without any prompting.”
3. Helping Others Decide
Some customers have a strong sense of community and want to contribute to the buying process of those making similar purchases. Given that 97 percent of consumers read online reviews, it’s possible that that customer was swayed by reviews only to have a negative experience with your business.
As a result, these types of users now share their own reviews to help more users avoid having the same experience as them.
How To Respond to Negative Reviews (and Why It Matters)
Think about the last time you made small talk with someone you know. If you ask how they are and they respond along the lines of “I’m fine,” it usually means that everything’s good and there’s nothing significant to share. But when they start telling you something like “I’m not going very well at the moment,” you can tell that there’s something wrong.
Users sharing reviews and reading reviews have a similar effect. Positive feedback can be easily overlooked by negative feedback because it’s an indicator that something is wrong with the service.
So is having negative feedback online a bad thing for businesses? Not necessarily. It depends on your way of online review monitoring and responding to negative reviews. All online reputation management companies recommend responding to negative reviews and not just responding to positive reviews. However, keep in mind the following tips:
- Don’t openly ignore negative reviews. If users see you responding to positive reviews, yet there are no negative review responses, it can come off as though you don’t acknowledge feedback from customers. For them, this means that the issues that customers list in their reviews may continue to happen if potential customers do business with you. Responding to positive reviews and negative reviews show that you’re actively listening to all kinds of feedback.
- Monitor online reviews. Your customers will expect a response, so prompt responses show that you actively monitor online reviews and are constantly checking for feedback to improve your business.
- Respond professionally. Even if you think the review is fake or untrue, your business should always be the bigger person in the situation and provide a professional response. Your negative review response should never sound hostile or aggressive, as it can show potential customers reading reviews that you’re hostile to constructive feedback.
- Acknowledge the issue. Be sympathetic to your customer’s experience by responding to negative reviews. You can provide an explanation if there was some confusion and apologize for their experience. You can also promise to take their review to improve your business’s product or services.
- Provide compensation. Given the bad experience your customer had, going beyond an apology can show that you’re willing to improve. This can be in the form of a partial or full refund or a discount towards future transactions. Doing this shows to both your customer and potential customers that you’re open to improving.
How Rize Reviews Helps Businesses with Negative Reviews
Rize Reviews provides some of the best reputation management services that can mitigate the effects of receiving bad reviews. With our experience in using the best reputation management tools in the industry, our review monitoring service can provide a number of ways to handle negative reviews. These include:
- Providing a team of reputation management consultants to monitor online reviews and filter out negative reviews to a private forum in advance.
- Boosting four and five-star reviews to reduce its impact through an online review monitoring service.
- Providing both positive and negative review responses. A carefully crafted negative review response can minimize the impact the negative review can have on readers and your potential customers.
Based on studies, while users may turn away from low-rated businesses, they’re also less likely to engage with businesses with a flawless five-star rating. A lack of criticism or negative reviews can come off as suspicious. Hence, keeping negative reviews and providing a negative review response can actually improve your business reputation compared to receiving completely perfect reviews.
“Customers expect some negative reviews. The important thing is to have a high score and high volume of total reviews with many recent reviews,” Clarke said.
Improve How Your Online Reviews Affect Your Reputation with Rize Reviews
Negative reviews for your business aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Depending on your choice of how to respond to negative reviews, you could turn negative feedback into an opportunity to attract more potential customers depending on how you provide your response.
With a reliable reputation management tool and online review monitoring service from reputation management consultants, you can make the most out of all your business’s online reviews. At Rize Reviews, we offer the best reputation management services for your business’s needs. Compared to other online reputation management companies, we offer reliable and comprehensive services using effective reputation management tools that help you generate more positive reviews while also mitigating the effects of negative reviews.
Get in touch with our reputation management consultants today to learn more about our services.