Gone are the days when customers had to go through a long process to launch a complaint whenever they were not satisfied with a service or product. Thanks to the digital world, customers can now easily go online and complain about a certain company, product, or service.
Worst of all, they can write a very bad review for other customers to see. It is a pity some small business owners still don't know how a bad review can negatively affect their business.
How can one bad review affect your business? It might be more than you think. Here are several ways bad reviews affect businesses.
You get one or two customers ready to buy from you. When you're about to get hold of the customer and close the deal, they remember to look up your business online. The customer then goes online to search for reviews on the product or the company.
The moment these customers go online and see a negative review, they start having second thoughts about the product. Negative customer service or a faulty product can always warrant a negative review. Even one negative review is enough to make you lose a potential customer.
In this era, an unsatisfied customer can go to social media and completely destroy the reputation of your company because of a bad experience. Imagine if a single person in social media has up to 300 friends, and they all see the bad review.
This means that almost 300 people will refrain from your products. These people can also share the review with their friends. This can go viral, and before you know it, you will have lost a lot of potential customers, including those who purchased from you before.
Customer reviews about your product have a great impact on search engines such as Google. These reviews help you get an edge over your competitors. Bad reviews can also affect you negatively on the search engine.
It is next to impossible to remove bad reviews from Google. This means it can stay there for up to 10 years and continue to ruin the reputation of your business.
Some companies have developed a habit of ignoring bad reviews thinking they will not affect them. It's only a matter of time before they catch up with you.
A single negative review may not have a bad effect on your reputation. However, if you don't take precautions and work on improving your services to avoid negative reviews, more customers may continue to complain. With time, the complaints will be out of control, and the reputation of your business will be negatively affected.
A bad review will not just cost you customers and sales; you will also lose the revenue your business had already earned. Imagine the amount of money you'll spend trying to pull down the negative reviews and clean up your name.
Sometimes you will be forced to write an official apology or even compensate the customers for their loss. All these will cost you money even if it's not a huge amount.
A bad review of your product or company can also cost you a lot of time trying to rectify it. In case a customer causes a wreck about your company on social media and it goes viral, you will need to clear your name.
You will need to bring down the posts and maybe apologize to the affected parties. If you're a big company, you may even need to prepare a press release even after removing bad reviews. All these will cost your business a lot of time that you may have used on other important things.
A bad review of your business can affect the ranking of your website on Google. Google sometimes ranks your business based on the reviews you get online. Too many negative reviews will affect your online rating hence affect your ranking.
If you used to have a rating of 5-star, then you drop to 4.5-stars, your ranking on Google will be affected, and this can hurt business.
A few bad reviews on your business might not have a huge impact. Some customers will easily ignore the few negative reviews and still go ahead and transact with you. Others assume that there is no company or product without flaws.
However, the negative reviews can get out of hand, and your business may not be able to fix it. It is not easy for a business to rebrand and regain the trust of customers after a series of complaints and negative reviews.
The business world is all about competition, and anything negative can drive you out of business. Your competitors are always looking for an opportunity to overtake you. Negative reviews provide a good platform for competitors to get ahead of you.
A bad review of your business will not only cost you your customers, but it will also make you lose your best employees. Your employees will be forced to clean up after the bad deeds of the business. They will have to struggle to satisfy your customers.
In the end, they get demotivated, fatigued, and end up quitting. Sometimes you might sack others thinking they are not working hard enough.
A bad review is not always destructive for your business. They provide an opportunity for your business to rebrand and grow. This is, of course, possible if you do something about it as soon as possible. You need to repair the damage before it gets out of hand.
Providing excellent customer service and ensuring your products are always up to standard is a good way to avoid negative reviews on your business.
Go through our website to learn more about how to keep your customers happy and your business running seamlessly.
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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