By now, most businesses are collecting customer feedback in some capacity.
This can happen actively in the form of reviews, surveys or polls, or passively in online review communities where you might have an unclaimed business profile. Whether you’re taking an active approach or not, customers are likely to leave feedback, both negative and positive. After all, customer feedback helps other consumers make the right decision every single time.
Why? Simply, other people’s feedback helps new shoppers decide whether or not they want to engage with that brand. Reviews serve as a guide to consumers, and help shoppers make better choices.
For that same reason, it’s normal for eCommerce companies to worry about the impact that negative reviews can have on potential customers. After all, if potential customers are seeing negative feedback about a company or their product, they might keep browsing or actively avoid that company in the future.
So, should you remove negative feedback? The short answer, no.
Reviews are about giving customers a chance to provide an honest recap of your business and your review. It’s essential to choose and implement the right type of review strategy in order to ensure your reputation is as accurate as possible. Sure mistakes happen and you can’t please everyone. No company is perfect, and consumers know that.
68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad ones.
In this article, we’ll explain why it’s important to let negative feedback lie on your website, and how to handle bad reviews and turn the negative into positive.
Why you shouldn’t remove negative reviews
1. It’s better to know and be aware of what’s being said about you
If someone is talking negatively about your company, you might want to know what they’re saying, and why they’re saying it. When people leave bad reviews, it means there’s still hope for you to fix the broken relationship. There’s a reason they took the time to leave that review.
When you decide to remove negative feedback, you’re communicating to that consumer that you don’t value their feedback. This might have unintended consequences and can make your customers angry and frustrated, even more than they initially were.
This means they’re also more likely to tell their friends and family about you, which will affect your business’s reputation in the real, offline world, affecting future purchases.
A recent poll by Ambassador and Nielsen’s Harris Poll shows that 82% of respondents “seek recommendations from friends and families when considering a purchase”. Word of mouth is still the most popular method of recommendation for consumers, so you might want to deal with your unhappy customers’ reviews, rather than delete them. The word is already out there, whether you delete it or not, so it’s more important to address the issue. Which brings us to our next point.
2. Negative feedback gives you a chance to showcase your customer experience commitment
Customer feedback is a great way for companies to understand what can be improved, but it’s also a way for shoppers to check whether or not they want to engage with a brand. If customers couldn’t openly access other people’s experiences with a brand, they would need to look elsewhere quickly to build confidence.
Today, 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a business’s customer experience, and 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them.
Visitors stumbling upon that negative comment are more likely to shop from you if you have addressed the issue.
The initial negative review was reasonable - a product ordered was shipped in terrible condition. However, rather than removing or ignoring the review, Thriftbooks immediately replied, assuring the customer that the customer service team is on the case, much like a support ticket.
As a result, the review changed to a positive 5-star and publicly showcases Thriftbooks commitment to their customer.
Don’t let potential customers walk away, it’s time to stop removing negative feedback and prove how much you care about your customers’ experience.
3. Bad reviews give you an opportunity to turn unhappy customers into loyal ones
By leaving a negative review, your upset customer is giving you a chance to make the situation better. The ball’s in your court, it’s your responsibility to turn the negative into positive, and change their mind.
Don’t remove negative feedback. Listen to what your customers are telling you, and help them solve their problem. Apologise, vow to do better, and turn their bad experience into a good one by offering different solutions and options.
Turning a negative into a positive isn’t that difficult after all. And 95% of unhappy customers return to your business if their issue was resolved quickly and efficiently. If you can change an unhappy customer’s mind and turn them into a loyal customer, the increase in revenue and LTV (lifetime value) is huge.
Afterall, it costs 7 times more to acquire a new customer compared to keeping an old customer and just a 5% increase in retention can increase profits by anywhere from 25 to 75%.
By solving the issues of your unhappy customers in a timely and efficient manner, you’re providing specialised value they might not find in other companies, making it likely that they’ll stay with you. It's time to embrace negative feedback and boost your customer loyalty!
4. Acting on negative reviews can produce long-term benefits for your business
65% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service now than they did just five year ago. By collecting negative and positive feedback, you can identify the areas of the business that can be improved, and the ones that already work well, giving your different departments a goal they can focus on.
Negative feedback is great when it comes to getting new insights, and understanding what consumers want and expect from companies like yours. It can be difficult to take the perspective of a customer and when working with third-parties and contractors, you might not have the visibility you need to ensure a customer’s experience is of the highest quality.
Receiving and embracing negative feedback will not only improve your brand’s customer experience and service, but it will also turn you into a brand that doesn’t just hear customers, but actually listens to what they have to say.
Make the customers the heroes of your story, and we guarantee you’ll turn your brand into gold.
5. Removing your customers' feedback is untrustworthy
30% of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews at all. Why is it that businesses with 100% positive reviews look dodgy to us?
Simply because it’s just not natural.
It’s impossible to please everyone, and even the biggest and greatest brands with the best customer service teams will, at some point, receive negative feedback.
Responding to that feedback, and showing your brand’s commitment, is what is going to make the difference. And that’s why getting some negative feedback on your page won’t affect you.
Negative reviews can, when well-handled, provide balance, help build trust (assuming you addressed the issue efficiently), and turn a hesitating visitor into a customer.
Our goals and values of a company are to help consumers make better purchasing decisions and help businesses understand how they can serve consumers better. This is all done with trust, transparency, and honesty in mind. By removing feedback in any way, companies are not being honest with themselves or their customers.
Companies, rather than hide from their reputation, should own up to them and take an honest look at themselves.
So how can things be improved? How can 2-star reviews turn into 4 and 5-star reviews?
By approaching negative feedback as an opportunity, you’ll see benefits that far outweigh the negatives of a few bad reviews.
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