Does One Bad Review Hurt Your Business?

The answer might surprise you…

Negative reviews are now a fact of life that we, as business owners and/or marketers, either choose to deal with or ignore and hope they go away . Consumers are slowly but surely being trained to post their rants online instead of filing a complaint with a business, where they take the chance of having their complaint placed in the “special” circular file. Online review sites are extremely popular and rightfully so, writing a negative review online is instant gratification for consumers.

The scenario usually plays out like this:

  1. Customer leaves your business peeved
  2. Customer seeks out a place (or places) online to enact revenge
  3. Customer writes a detailed, scathing review
  4. Customer breathes a sigh of relief, feeling like they’ve been heard.

As the internet has evolved and consumers have learned that they can easily “Google” businesses before they shop and see reviews built right into the search results, they are also beginning to understand that a negative review here and there is normal. Early on, a business with 100% positive reviews was held in high regard until a few companies got caught cheating and publicity began to spread, raising awareness about falsified positive reviews. Nowadays, it’s more about how a company responds to negative reviews than about the negative review itself.

So to answer the question “Does One Bad Review Hurt Your Business?” I would say: Yes, if the business ignores the review, however the right response shows that the business cares. In fact, the negative review can actually lend credibility to the business and the remainder of the (hopefully positive) reviews on the same page.

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  • Angel

    This is great in theory but owner responses aren’t shown in mobile versions on google places. So what then?