After years of working with businesses both small and large, I have seen numerous examples of companies focusing too heavily on being “right” as opposed to finding the best course of action when dealing with negative reviews.
For example, a company reached out for assistance with negative reviews on several sites. In discussing the matter, what appeared to instigate the rash of negative reviews was a conflict over a $400 payment. The client disagreed that the money was owed and the company jumped to threats of sending to collection much too soon – trying to be right about the situation as opposed to seeing if there may be more to the situation.
The result was a negative review. The company then increased its threats to the client, demanding that money was still owed as well as threatening legal action – still trying to be right. The result was a tirade of negative reviews on multiple sites, including sites that are notorious for never removing negative content whether true or false such as ripoff report resulting in more damage than collecting $400 from the client could repair.
Unfortunately there are those (really a small percentage) who will try to badger a company into giving service or items for free while holding them hostage with a negative review. But this is a small amount and most customers upsets can be resolved and negative complaints neutralized.
The Bottom Line
So how much can negative reviews effect your business? Here are some studies to think with:
- According to YouGov 78% of consumers perused the review section before making a purchase;
- A Conn research concluded that four-out-of-five-consumers reversed their purchase decision because of negative reviews found online;
- Influence Central reported that 90% of consumers trust reviews more than any information provided by a salesman.
So it seems that apart from delivering a good service or product and treating our customers well, we also have to weigh the value of being occasionally wronged by a customer and the price to fix that if one wants to just be right.