Negative Online Reviews Can Undermine Digital Marketing Efforts

Negative online reviews don’t have to hurt your business, but they could. And that’s what’s scary to many business owners.

You’ve poured your heart and soul into building your business, and it can be painful to have a few disgruntled customers say bad things about you online, possibly discouraging potential future customers from patronizing your business. It doesn’t seem fair, especially if their criticism is ungrounded.

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It’s frustrating when you’re working on a targeted digital marketing strategy and bad reviews keep popping up. You can get sick of the naysayers having more of an impact than your happy customers.

But what can you do?

A Couple of Bad Reviews Aren’t the End of the World

It’s true that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. So when they see a negative review on a business profile, they’ll take it seriously. But having a couple bad reviews won’t derail your entire company. In fact, having a few bad reviews among many positive ones could make you seem more legitimate — having all 5-star ratings can look suspicious, as if they might be fake.

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If the percentage of bad reviews to good is minor, don’t panic. All business owners will have to deal with a few complaints at some point, but if you’re really worried, your best defense is a good offense. Get those positive review numbers up with our help!

If You Have Lukewarm Endorsements, it’s a Little More Serious

Here’s an issue you may not have considered before: You don’t have a ton of bad reviews, but you have quite a few meh ones. By this, we mean a large percentage of people are giving you only three or four stars at most. Why?

It’s important to read each of these reviews closely. They don’t hate your business, but they’re not in a huge rush to come back. Is there something you could do to change their mind? It’s best to treat these reviews as if they are one-star reviews. If prospective customers check out your reviews and see that you’re bordering on mediocrity, they’ll pass over you just as quickly as if you have a stream of negative online reviews.

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If You Have Hordes of Angry Customers, You Need to Take Charge, Now

Of course, a lot of negative online reviews will make even the calmest of business owners start to panic. Where did you go wrong?

Your first mistake was likely hoping your happy customers would seek you out and leave a review of their own volition. No matter how happy you made someone, this is a rarity. You need to prompt them to talk about your service and capture their good feedback!

On the other hand, it’s not as hard to imagine an angry customer furiously typing their feelings, and if you have a bunch of those posted publicly, it might be time to put a system in place so you’re able to intervene before your reputation is damaged. We can help.

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Are Your Marketing Claims Lining up with Your Reviews?

On your website or in your marketing materials, you probably make certain claims. “We’re the most reliable plumbing contractor in town!” or “We have the best sushi in the county!”

You might not come right out and say it, but all marketing has one intention: to get your customers to choose you over the competition. And one of the top ways those customers will determine if you’re worth their time is by checking out your online reviews. Are your past customers backing you up, or backing off?

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If you claim to be the most reliable plumber around, but you have three reviews that say you never returned calls or didn’t show up on time, you have a problem.

If you claim to have the best sushi, but multiple reviewers say they could take it or leave it, don’t expect your marketing efforts to have much of an impact.

The bottom line: Your online reviews are the litmus test for your business and your marketing efforts. Do your customers agree with your unique selling proposition? Do they want to come back?

Don’t let negative online reviews bring you down, but don’t let them take down your business either. Find your brand ambassadors who are willing to sing your praises, and do it by using our automated system to accrue more positive reviews and address the negative concerns offline. Schedule your demo with Accrue Reviews today!