Will Bad Customer Reviews Hurt My Business?



Austin Walk






Will bad customer reviews hurt my business? This is a good question, that we get asked a lot. The majority believes that poor reviews will hurt your business, and for the most part, especially with product reviews, this is usually the case – however, you might be surprised what happens with a little responsive customer service.

Recently, Marriott International performed some interesting customer research. The divided a study group of hotel guests into three groups.

Group 1:  guests who did enjoyed their stay and did not leave poor reviews or complaints.

Group 2: guests who did not enjoy their stay and did leave poor reviews and complaints.

Group 3: guests who did not enjoy their stay, did leave poor reviews and complaints, but were responded to by Marriott, who resolved their problem.

The study found that of the three groups:

Group 1 had a 89% return rate.

Group 2 had a 69% return rate.

Group 3 had a 94% return rate.

Some of our clients have feared, or been intimidated by review sites such as Yelp or Google reviews. They monitored their reviews like a virus ready to spread at any moment. The reality is reviews are a vital part to the success of any organization. Here are some helpful tips to ensure any customer review helps your business.

1. Watch your reviews closely. Set up automated alerts and notifications any time you get a review. Reviews are a directly communication piece to your most important demographic … your customers!

2. Understand that reviews are free product and market data. Use this data to shape a better product or service.

3. Be responsive to poor reviews, trying to do everything feasible to resolve the issue. We’ve seen so many dissatisfied customers, quickly transformed into loyalists because of responsive, corrective customer service.

4. Respond to your positive reviews! When somebody says something nice, go out of your way to thank them. This is another way to earn a customer for life.

5. Be professional and genuine. Avoid debate or slander and take the high road. Never use review sites to speak poorly of a customer. Also, try to maintain the human aspect of your responses, letting your brand voice be heard.

The truth is, you can use any review to your advantage and poor reviews will not hurt your business. Listen to your customer, improve your products and services, and be proactive on customer review sites, you’ll never fear reviews again.