Tuesday 6 November 2018

A single negative review - just how much harm can it do?

We hear this kind of comment often - admittedly less often than we used to - but still often enough to get onto our soapbox and trumpet...

Negative reviews hurt business(es)

Just look at this...

...emailed by Google to the reviewer. The review is exactly three months old. In that time it has been seen by over 500 people. 

Do we think all five hundred have been put off the business in question? Probably not - but it's a nailed-on certainty that some have. So what has the business in question done? Nothing at all. 

What should they have done? Responded to the reviewer, that's what - addressing the issues raised, whatever they are, and however 'unfair' the business thinks the review may be.

What else can a business do?

Invite reviews from all its customers would be a good start. Next: how about responding to all customers who take the trouble to write a review - it takes minutes a week and is sure to impress potential customers, it can also gently correct factual inaccuracies or misconceptions, so readers don't automatically assume the reviewer is correct. The business above has responded to none of its reviewers, the majority of them saying 'use this business' - wouldn't at least a thank-you be in order?

What if the review is factually incorrect or misleading (or even malicious)?

You can appeal to Google to have the review removed. Here is an article that goes into detail about the procedure.

Better than that - if you are a member of HelpHound, you will have a very good chance that the customer will have written their review to you before going on to post it to Google. And all HelpHound reviews are moderated - not to 'weed out' negative reviews, but to ensure, for everyone's benefit, that reviews containing factual inaccuracies or potentially misleading comments are not published - either on the business's website or on Google (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Read all about our moderation process here. It's worth its weight in gold for everyone concerned - the writer of the review, the reader of the review and the business under review.

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