Are All Bad Reviews Really Bad For Your Business?

Frustrated angry man reading a text message on his smartphone blowing steam coming out of ears

Google reviews are important for small businesses. They can be the difference between success and failure. Google reviews are also a determining factor for where in the search results Google decides to place you. This is especially true with local searches and the 3 pack maps listing that is always displayed on the first search results page.

There is an old saying that “no news is good news”. This means that if you don’t have any bad reviews, then you must be doing something right. But it does not mean that no one has anything negative to say about your company. It just means they didn’t take the time to leave a review.

We should not dwell on bad reviews too much because many times they are not warranted. That does not mean ignore them it means filter them and realize something can be done to help your business and protect it from the fake or unwarranted bad reviews.

At some point everyone has come across people are so picky that they would give a business a bad review just because there was no one to open the door for them the moment they arrived. I have also seen things like in the property management niche where a tenant was upset because they could not pay rent on time and left a 1 star review over a late fee that was in their contract they signed.

Of course every business in the world has its ups and downs, It is completely natural for some people to have a different opinion on these. It is also normal that after you have been in business any length of time to come across someone that cannot be pleased no matter what anyone does. For example: if someone feels unsatisfied with the customer service that they received then it is understandable that they might take the time to leave a negative review.

However, if the service was excellent but a customer is unhappy with something else then it would be unfair to give that business a bad review.

A Bad Review Isn’t Automatically Bad For Your Business

Most business owners assume that it’s best if their business has all 5 star reviews. The reality is that this actually is a myth and not true at all. Think about how you evaluate businesses and products when you read reviews online. If you’re like most shoppers, you likely have a bit of distrust for anything that has all positive reviews. For some reason it just does not look completely natural that a business that’s been there awhile would not have never had a single bad review.

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating and negative feedback in survey, poll or questionnaire. Sad and dissatisfied man giving review about service quality. Bad user experience.

When something has all positive reviews, the typical shopper will either assume that these reviews aren’t legitimate, or that the company has found ways to bury negative reviews. People searching online are smart enough to know that no company is perfect, and they don’t expect yours to be either. When they see the occasional bad review, that makes them trust the positive reviews more. It just appears more real more natural to everyone.

It’s important to realize that a potential customer isn’t going to see a negative review for your company and automatically decide not to choose you based on only that, Especially if they clearly see you have quite a few positive reviews that more than make up for it. Instead, they’ll read the content of that negative review to see what the problem was. If the critique isn’t a deal breaker for them, then they may still choose your service. They’ll also be looking to see how you handled the negative review and if you rectified the situation. This is why with Google reviews for example it is so critically to reply and answer those negative reviews. This shows the next visitors that you care and you made things right.

Of course, there are certain types of bad reviews that don’t help you at all and can do serious damage to your online reputations. Also if your bad reviews start to outnumber your good ones then you need to take a serious look at your business not just the reviews.

The Bad Reviews That Really Hurt

You should never ignore a bad review, but there are some of them that you’ll want to prioritize and handle immediately.

Any harassment allegations, including racial or sexual harassment, need to be addressed right away. Start by getting in touch with the customer to get their side of the story, and let them know that you take these sorts of allegations very seriously. You’ll need to take disciplinary action with any offending employees, It may even mean a personal apology to the customer.

Reviews that are highly negative towards your business can also cause significant damage to its online reputation. The first thing you’ll need to do is determine if the review has merit or if it’s simply a disgruntled consumer libeling your business and employees. If it’s the latter, review sites typically allow you to flag reviews like this to get them removed. If the review is legitimate you should hear the customer’s side of the story, apologize to the customer for what has happened and take steps to make the situation right.  If you need help fixing your online reputation contact the experts at Erase My Trax.