For small businesses these days, it's all about the customer reviews. It doesn't matter how slick of a marketing campaign you have, how much you invest in advertising and hosting grand events; it can all come hideously undone with a couple of unhappy customers who decided to tell the world about it.
However, it needn't be the end of the world. Sometimes, if the negative feedback is genuine, a humble apology and promise to fix the issue can show honesty and willingness to listen that many potential customers can appreciate. Alternatively, if the complaint is malicious and false, a witty comeback and a withering response can also win fans. You might even go viral and get a ton of free exposure!
Need further proof? Well, the good folks here at Bored Panda had collected a list of examples when restaurant owners dealt with negative reviews just perfectly. Scroll down below to check them out for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments! (Facebook cover image: Dave Walker)
“You don't define your brand. Your customers do,” is a common saying among customer service experts. And it's true. Customer reviews have become so important to people that now 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That's a lot!
So you need visible reviews for potential customers to check out, but they need to be good ones. If you get a bad review it can be soul-destroying; you pour your heart and soul into your business only for it to be tarnished by a customer who might simply be in a bad mood, didn't like the restaurant's food or had unrealistic expectations.
Businesses are at risk of losing 22% of consumers who would have bought from them when there is a negative review. This is based off just one review! If there are three or more negative business or restaurant reviews, the chance of losing customers jumps to 59.2%. Four or more negative reviews can turn as much as 70% of customers away. You simply can't ignore these people, no matter how unfair it might seem.
But why do people leave bad or even fake reviews? Well, apparently only 23% of customers say they post negative reviews out of vengeance, so chances are, they are not out to get you personally. 70% of people who complain want to get a response from you, which suggests that they are giving you the opportunity to make things right. Unfortunately, only 38% actually receive a reply.
90% of people who complain say that they do it to help other people to make decisions about where they should take their business. So if you are helpful and make the effort to reply in a courteous way, you can use a negative review to show that you are willing to adapt to customer needs and demands.