The reviews your company receives for its services are some of the best publicity and marketing tools you have access to. Positive reviews, of course, are nothing but good for your public image; meanwhile negative reviews may be a concern you should give more attention to if you want to boost your business instead of dragging it down, in more ways than one!
They Hurt Your SEO
Your search engine optimization (SEO) is important for your business’s exposure and accessibility. Each time a consumer searches for a business, the companies with the greatest SEO are the ones that will pop up on their results list first. Therefore, your best shot at gaining the attention of curious consumers is to maintain a high SEO! Any harmful review of your company essentially docks points from your “value” of search relevancy, because it suggests that your business is an unpopular (and therefore unhelpful) one. The lower your value, the less likely any consumers will be to find your company via online searches.
They May Lead to More Serious Complaints
If customers have one poor experience but can see that they are not alone, they are significantly more likely to voice that experience. Regardless of your expectations for the customer, their expectations are what matters. Customers can make a serious complaint even when a contract makes expectations clear. If a string of bad reviews is seen by an upset customer, it adds fuel to the fire of their frustration. More serious complaints can develop, regardless of the actual experience—customers may find more and more things wrong with their experience in retrospect.
They Cause Reputational Issues
The more negative reviews you accumulate, the more your reputation suffers. Your reputation affects every relationship: relationships with other loyal customers, with your partners, with suppliers and associates. Bad reputation means distrust in relationships, which results in distance, which results in a lack of help and poor performance. All of this leads to a steep decline in public perception and consumer interest.
Your best combat against negative reviews is simply addressing each concern! Reach out to these concerned consumers—offline if possible. Apologize for the poor experience, validate their concern, explain your business’s side if helpful or relevant, and commit to improving in the future. The negative reviews will decrease or even disappear, helping keep your SEO high, your complaints low, and your reputation safe.
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