Online Marketing: Negative Reviews & Comments

Negative reviews and comments are a concern for every company. There will always be customers, in real life and in the digital world that are difficult to please, however, the response for both should be the same: excellent customer service.

The best way to respond to a negative review or comment is to acknowledge and address it quickly, and if needed take ownership it. Even if the company is not at fault, a quick response can alleviate a distraught customer and many times, when handled properly, can gain the company a new customer. With many companies not knowing how (or choosing not) to handle customer dissatisfaction online, a unique opportunity is presented for companies willing to take on these challenges. A disgruntled customer that receives acknowledgement of their issue, even if little or no resolution is possible will usually give the company the benefit of the doubt and possible another chance simply because someone paid attention to them; sometimes they can even be converted to a loyal customer. The potential loss of business from not being online is much greater than the cost of a negative review and it takes away opportunities to show that a company does consider their customers important.

There are ways to make these situations work for the company, instead of against it.

  • In today’s digital age, marketing and digital managers are trained to respond to these situations and provide solutions for customers.
  • Probably the best way to minimize negative feedback is to outshine with positive feedback and interaction with customers. Just by showing that you do respond and take customers seriously, shows other customers that their issues will matter as well.
  • Most sites have protections in place so you can decide what level you are willing to take on, such as comment review and approval settings or removal of the Reviews and Ratings section all together.
  • Most people don’t expect companies to have zero negative feedback. A company with only positive comments and ratings can actually look staged to customers.

There are trends in the methods of communication each generation prefers to use. Generally, people are the most comfortable with and remain loyal to the method they grew up with, however, price and convenience can play a factor as well. (i.e. most millennials prefer digital communication or texting). To avoid or exclude any particular method of communication, can not only put a company at risk losing target audiences and potential new business but also of sending them to competitors who may be utilizing different communication styles.

The most common methods of communicating with customers are:

  • Online (Digital): websites, social media
  • Phone: talking
  • In person: walk-in
  • Writing: e-mail, mail
  • Texting

Negative feedback may also give a company the opportunity to improve their services and surpass their competitors, who may have similar issues but may not be addressing them.