In the first post of this series on building a positive online reputation, we talked about the importance of asking for positive reviews from happy clients and candidates.  

But what about those nagging weeds in your reputation garden– the negative reviews that can pop up from a disgruntled candidate now and then?   

Negative and Positive Reviews: To Wilt or Bloom?  

On one hand, a nasty review from an angry person can leave new relationships wilting before they ever have a chance to bloom, driving away potential candidates and clients who are still doing their research. 

  • 94% of consumers have avoided a business because of a negative online review. (ReviewTrackers)
  • When businesses have less than a 4-star rating, 80% of consumers lose trust. (ReviewTrackers) 

On the other hand, positive reviews can dramatically boost conversions and revenue: 

  • If you’re working from the ground up, keep this in mind: Conversions increase by 270% when you go from 0 reviews to 5 reviews online! (Spiegel Research Center) 
  • A Harvard study found that even a one-star increase on Yelp can lead to as much as a 9% increase in revenue. (Harvard Business School) 

Tend To The Weeds To Let Your Blooms Grow

While you want to gather more positive reviews to build trust and craft your online reputation, dealing with the negative ones is just as important: 

  • Preparation and process are key. Have a plan for how your team will respond to bad comments and negative reviews. Don’t just nip these in the bud. A good rule is to respond with understanding and empathy; then find a way to talk with the person offline to hear them out and work through the disconnect privately. (More on that on our InSights podcast episode!) If you satisfactorily resolve the individual’s issue, they may even be willing to take the negative review down – or at least amend it. 
  • Find the silver lining. Negative reviews can bring to light problems you didn’t realize were there. If you notice a pattern to complaints, work on improving those issues where you can. It’s impossible to please every customer every time, but implementing one or two small changes makes a big impact on future relationships – and your brand. 
  • Work negative reviews to your advantage. 68% of consumers have more trust in a brand when they see both good and bad reviews. Just make sure to follow up with negative reviews in a mature, professional manner that is true to your brand as soon as possible. (Broadly) 

Now that you’re fertilizing your garden to gather positive reviews and staying on top of those pesky weeds, beautiful blooms can grow. But it’s not enough just to let them sit idle. It’s what you do with those “blooms” that matters – and we will cover that in the final post of the series 

Can’t wait for the next post? Get the full article, Tend Your Reputation Garden from the Idea Club or connect with a marketing educator today.  

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