As a business owner, you have probably tried to get inside the head of your customers. You want to understand what motivates their purchasing choices and what they look for in a product or service. Customer reviews are a great resource for market research. They allow your customers a forum to share their experiences with you and other consumers. In fact, if written in detail, even bad reviews can be beneficial for your business because they can show you which areas you can improve in.
But what makes a customer want to leave a bad review in the first place? What makes them take the time out of their day to let you and others know they were unsatisfied with your business? In today’s post we are going to be talking about the motivations of consumers and why customers leave bad reviews. But before we conduct any psychological spelunking into the caverns of the consumer psyche, it’s important to understand a few basic facts…
What Percentage of Customers Leave Reviews?
How invested is the average consumer in the customer experience? According to a study conducted by Search Engine Land, approximately 50% of customers who are asked to leave a review will actually do so. This is an important statistic to know because it will give you an idea of how many reviews you can expect from your client base.
Of this pool of around 50% of your customers, you have to assume that not all of them will be positive reviews. Why make this assumption you ask? Because customers are 21% more likely to take the time to leave a bad review for a business than a good one. For whatever reason, a negative experience with your business is more likely to elicit a review than a positive experience.
But it’s important to note that negative reviews are not the end of the world. As we have already stated, negative reviews at least provide you with valuable market research material. And at best, they afford you a reputation management opportunity in which you can address the bad review head on and show your customers and potential customers that you care about their experience.
Reasons Customers Leave Bad Reviews
Now let’s get to the heart of the matter – why customers leave bad reviews. There are a number of reasons that range from the altruistic to the downright vindictive. Here are some of the most important reasons why customers leave bad reviews:
1 – Let’s start with an altruistic reason for bad reviews. People leave bad reviews sometimes to save other consumers from the same experience. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who have the good of the population in mind. When one of these good Samaritans feel that a business is not worth the time and money of their fellow consumers, they will let them know. These people leave bad reviews so that others will know to avoid a business.
2 – Another reason why customers leave bad reviews is that they feel it is their last resort. When a customer feels that they have been wronged by business and don’t get the results they want by contacting the managers and higher-ups, they tend to take to the internet. This is when customers blast businesses for poor customer service and conflict resolution. They leave bad reviews because they don’t get the results they want in their interactions (either in person, over the phone, or online) with the business.
3 – Let’s continue to acknowledge those altruistic consumers shall we? There is another major reason why customers leave bad reviews that has nothing to do with compensation or venting or anything like that. Some people leave bad reviews because they truly want you to make a change for the better. These people tend to leave generally negative but even-handed reviews. They will usually complement you for or acknowledge some aspect of your business that they liked but then show you where it came up short. They do this because they see potential in your business and actually want it to be a one they can patronize regularly.
4 – Some customers will leave a bad review of a business to open up a dialogue. They want you to actually reply to their review so that they can further voice their opinion. Sometimes people want to hear back from you to offer compensation. But there are also people who just want to hear an apology or simply want their bad experience to be acknowledged by the business.
5 – Lastly, some people just want to tarnish your online reputation. Sometimes they feel truly wronged by your business but sometimes people just feel like being spiteful. These people don’t want a response, they aren’t in it to help fellow consumers; they just want to do what they can to ruin the image of your business.
How Much Does a Bad Review Cost?
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why a customer would leave a bad review. But what kind of damage can a bad review actually do? It is estimated that a 1-star review will cause 1 in 10 consumers to look elsewhere. If your business gets an average of 500 customers a month a bad review can cost you a tenth of those customers. In the case of a 500 customer a month business, that’s 50 customers every month that you could lose from having a bad review.
It sounds grim we know but the good news is that there are effective ways to deal with a bad review. In fact, you should prioritize every bad review you get as an opportunity to win more customers. Replying to negative reviews in a diplomatic and attentive manner is the first and most important way to deal with bad reviews. For more help with online reviews and reputation management in general, contact us here at BrandRevu.
It can’t be helped. No matter how hard you have worked to provide an excellent customer experience, bad reviews are inevitable. That’s because there are a wide variety of reasons why customers leave bad reviews. Some of them don’t really have anything to do with your product or service. And while you should take negative reviews seriously, there comes a point where you just have to switch into reputation management protocol.
Again, when you get a bad review, you should ask yourself what you can do to improve your business so you don’t get bad reviews in the first place. But you have probably wondered to yourself whether or not you can remove negative Google reviews. In today’s post we will be answering this question. We will also go over some important topics related to bad reviews to help you better manage your online reputation.
Can You Take Down A Bad Google Review Yourself?
The answer to this question is no. Being able to do so would compromise the integrity of Google reviews in the first place. If Google did allow you to remove negative reviews, every business would have a perfect reputation regardless of whether they earned it or not.
In fact, the only way you would be able to take down a negative review from your Google profile is if the review is in violation of the Google terms of service. In this case, you would be able to contact Google support and request that the review be removed on the grounds that the review violates the terms of service.
Other than that, you are stuck with a bad Google review. But that is not the end of the story. Just because you get a bad review on Google, doesn’t mean your business will be ruined. There are plenty of ways to successfully deal with bad reviews and turn them into success stories.
The Impact of a Bad Review
Make no mistake about it; reviews can make or break your business. There is a wealth of statistical data to back up this assertion to. For instance, Inc conducted a great consumer survey and in it, they found that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a word of mouth referrals. Podium also reports that 93% of their survey repliers reported that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. The statistics go on and on like this.
But who cares, right? I mean, how much does a bad review cost at the end of the day? Can’t be much, right? How can a few words affect your bottom line? The answer to that question is by about a tenth. That’s right, a single 1-star review can drive away 1 out of every 10 of your potential customers. And a whopping 94% of consumers have reported that a negative review has caused them to avoid a business.
Now that you know how impactful bad reviews can be, it is important to learn what you can do about them.
How to Properly Manage Bad Reviews
Since you can’t remove negative Google reviews, you should be prepared to manage them. Here are a few ways you can turn bad reviews into successes:
- Be Responsive – The first thing you should do when you notice a bad review is to respond to it. Apologize for the negative experience, explain that their business is important to you, and ask how you can make things right. Replying to bad reviews is one of the most effective ways to turn reviews into marketing tools. 89% of consumers read business responses to reviews. When others see that you reply to reviews, they perceive your company as one that cares about the customer experience.
- Bury the Problem – Reputation management may be the only arena of life in which it actually pays to bury your problems. One effective way to deal with bad reviews is simply to have a lot more positive reviews to outweigh them. If you get a bad review, consider ramping up your review acquisition efforts to elicit more positive reviews from customers. The fact is that everyone expects at least a few bad reviews of a business and consumers are willing to overlook them – but only if there are plenty of good reviews to temper the bad ones.
- Be Ready – Bad reviews can be taken down by the author so be ready to help customers when if they ask ‘how do you remove a bad Google review?’ If you have made amends with a negative reviewer, they may want to take down their bad review. Teach yourself how to remove reviews so you can show the jilted customers you have won over.
How Reviews Impact Your Bottom Line Business
If you are concerned with how reviews affect the public’s perception of your business we’re here to tell you that you have reason to be. Online reviews have huge a huge impact on how your business is viewed by potential customers and will, therefore, affect your sales.
Reputation management has become an important point of emphasis even for small businesses. That’s because, in the digital age, even your small business is globally visible. To help you understand the importance of reviews and how reviews impact your bottom line, we have composed this post that demonstrates with statistical data just how vital this aspect of your business is.
How Much do Reviews Matter?
The short answer is a lot. There are a ton of reasons why reviews matter so much but one of the most important ones is that people simply don’t trust advertising anymore. In a study conducted by Inc, it was found that a staggering 96% of consumers no longer think that traditional ads are believable. So where are they turning to for consumer information?
If you have been paying even the slightest bit of attention so far, you know the answer to that question is online reviews. Bright Local ran a very telling survey. In it, they found that 93% of consumers between the ages of 35 and 54 always read online reviews before making a purchasing decision.
More and more consumers are turning to reviews to find out if a business is worth their time and money or not. It stands to reason then, that positive reviews can help your business thrive. But what do negative reviews do to your business?
How do Negative Reviews Impact a Business?
Again, the short answer is a lot. Since online reviews are the new social proof, a negative review written by a stranger can make your business seem untrustworthy to a consumer. In another Bright Local study, we learn that 47% of consumers would not patronize a business if it has less than a 4-star rating. Businesses can stand to lose 70% of potential customers if they have negative reviews on their Google My Business profiles.
These are alarming figures but you may not be able to see the link between your business’s reviews and your bottom line. For that we refer you to the next section…
How do Online Reviews Influence Sales?
To start with, you need to have reviews in order to do business in the modern world. Linkedin drives this point home nicely. In an article, they recount the experience of a retailer who displayed 5 reviews of a product. The result of displaying these reviews was a 270% jump in sales likelihood when compared with products that have no reviews.
In the same Bright Local survey we referenced earlier, it was also found that 70% of customers prefer to read at least 4 reviews before they feel they can comfortably make a purchasing decision. The bottom line is that you need reviews in the first place. It’s sort of like that credit adage, “bad credit is worse than having no credit at all.”
People turn to reviews for research to inform their purchasing decision. If you have no research (reviews) to provide, you have no chance of making a sale.
And even negative reviews may not necessarily affect sales in a bad way. In fact, the research provided by Revoo indicates that interacting with a negative review (replying to negative customer feedback) can actually lead to a 67% boost in conversion rates. This is because people value businesses that care about the customer experience and try to do right by customers who are dissatisfied.
So it becomes critically important to have reviews if you want to see any significant sales and conversion rates.
The Bottom Line for Roofing Companies
It’s all about the bottom line, right? There is a definitive correlation between online reviews and how much money you stand to make (or lose) in your business. First, the negative: a single bad review can cause you to lose out on 1 out of every 10 potential customers. That’s a tenth of your business you can kiss goodbye to!
Now the positive: just having one review of your business can boost conversion rates by 10%! And to drive the point home, RevLocal also informs us that having 100 reviews of your business can boost conversion rates by 37%.
By now you probably have a clear picture of how reviews impact your bottom line. And if you would like to leverage reviews for the benefit of your business, you need to use the review software we have developed here at BrandRevu.