Of course, any business, and our Virtual Assistants too, strive to receive all five-star positive reviews that will show to the prospective customers that the company is professional, responsible and good to work with. Still, negative feedback do happen triggering the state of panic in owners and managers. To delete or not to delete? How to respond to a bad review and whether to respond at all?
First of all, calm down and appreciate the fact that negative feedback in a healthy mix with positive reviews considerably contributes to the positive purchase decision. Let us explain you why.
In the past, the choice customers made was greatly influenced by the opinion of friends and family. Now, people do not bother to contact them for a business review and rely on the readily available online reviews. According to statistics, 97% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and 89% claim this step is essential in the process of buying something online.
The focal point, which determines whether product or business reviews will be trusted, is their authenticity and trustworthiness. All 5-star reviews make customers doubt they are authentic, as it is difficult to please everyone and there will always be someone dissatisfied. Actually, 85% of consumers (91% of consumers aged 18-29) look for negative reviews making a purchase decision. And Bazaarvoice, the largest shopping network, claims they see products with one or more negative reviews convert better than products with positive reviews only. In fact, bad reviews allow customers to see the worst-case scenarios and it is better to know them rather than stay ignorant. What is more, what is perceived as negative by one person, may be irrelevant for another.
Another reason to love negative feedback is because it helps to bring problems to surface. If negative reviews are not unjust, they show what issues exist in your business and it is the first step to dealing with them. This way, you should perceive negative reviewers as free testers of your business who really help you progress (given that you put emotions aside and leverage bad reviews to get better).
Even if you receive an unjust negative review, this can help your business too, as unjust reviews may be used to create a hype in the social media. Your customers will want to correct the wrong and tell something good about you. Thus, you will receive many more positive reviews, which would not have been left if there was no unjust negative review given. As a result, you get many reviews and a 4-something-start rating, which looks really authentic and trustworthy.
What is more, having all 5-star reviews and fake odes written in your honor, you risk driving customer expectations too high. All of you know that the higher expectations, the bigger disdain if they are not fulfilled. As a result, customers with unrealistic expectations may later leave lower ratings simply because they are “satisfied” and not “super satisfied”.
Of course, a lot depends on how you handle bad reviews. Your customer support and SMM managers should have strict guidelines concerning how to respond to a bad review. You should not be afraid to tell your side of the story, but should never ever argue with a dissatisfied customer online. It is also essential that you respond fast, apologize and sympathize with the client. If you acknowledge the fact that the service or product should be better, tell that you are working on the improvements and do work on them. Some time later, you may also add a new comment in response to the negative feedback informing about what has been done for similar issues not to occur again. Be sure that the prospective customers (85-91% of them, as we have mentioned earlier) will read this.
Although bad reviews are always negative experience, they are essential to your business. They make your reviews look trustworthy, bread realistic expectations of your products and services, make your offers convert better, and help you to see and eliminate business issues you have. Although VAfromEurope has not received less than 5-star reviews uptil now, our virtual assistants have dealt with the need to respond to negative feedback on behalf of our clients and are ready to free you from the associated stress.