Let’s be honest: receiving negative reviews can be a gut punch. After all, your brand is obsessed with creating products and experiences that your customers adore. And hearing negative feedback about something you’ve worked hard to create is never fun.
However, negative feedbacks are inevitable. Even the most well-known companies experience them from time to time. This is because it is simply impossible to design a product that serves the needs of every single customer who comes your way.
Admittedly, negative reviews are never the goal. However, there is a bright side to negative feedback. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, one and two-star ratings can be beneficial to your company.
Still not convinced? Let’s look at how negative reviews can help your brand, as well as three key actions you can take to get the most out of your one and two-star reviews.
How negative reviews can help your business
In an ideal world, every single one of your customers would leave glowing reviews for the products they buy. But that is not the case. Which is fine.
Receiving a few one or two-star reviews does not mean your company is doomed. In fact, a few one or two-star reviews can help your business in the following four ways;
Negative reviews can help you build trust with customers
Consumers today have virtually limitless shopping options. Of course, there are dozens of factors that a consumer considers when deciding which businesses to do business with — and which to avoid. However, trust is a crucial consideration.
According to Edelman’s research, 81% of shoppers say they must be able to trust a brand before making a purchase. And 70% believe that trusting a brand is more important now than it has ever been.
Brands must be transparent to earn that trust. And one important way to do so is to display responses from other shoppers, including negative feedback. When customers see negative feedback, they realize you have nothing to hide. This lets them know you’re a reliable brand.
Negative feedback boosts product sales
You might think that the higher a product’s average star rating, the more likely a shopper is to buy it. That is correct — to a point.
However, report suggests that “Bad reviews are bad for the naïve consumers, but for the rational consumers these reviews actually increase their confidence in the quality of a product.”
This is due to the perception among consumers that products with perfect five-star ratings are too good to be true. If there are no negative reviews, a shopper may conclude that a brand is concealing something — and that they should not be trusted.
On the other hand, the unusual negative review can actually boost a product’s sales to a star rating closer to the sweet spot of 4.2 – 4.5.
Negative reviews assist customers in making better purchasing decisions
Customers rely on negative reviews to determine which products meet their requirements — and which do not. According to research, an astounding 85% of shoppers seek out negative reviews.
To explain why this may be the case, the study also found that one-third of shoppers said that negative reviews balanced their shopping research, with a negative perspective being either a ‘very important’ or ‘important’ factor influencing their decision.
Negative reviews highlight fixable issues
One and two-star ratings can help you identify problems with your products or services that you might not have discovered otherwise. This feedback can aid in the development of improvements that will allow you to better serve your customers.
As an example, suppose you sell electronic devices with a high return rate. Unfortunately, you don’t have much information on the causes of the returns. You notice, however, that the product has a fairly low average star rating. Several reviews also mention that the product was difficult to assemble because the pieces did not line up correctly.
As a result, you provide this feedback to your manufacturer to improve the product’s quality control process. Then you watch how the average star rating rises as a result of this improvement.
How to use negative reviews to increase your profits
Negative reviews can have a positive impact on the performance of your brand. They should, in fact, be viewed as an opportunity to do so.
Here are three ways to ensure that;
1. Display Negative Feedback
It may be tempting to dismiss negative reviews. However, resist the temptation. One and two-star ratings add integrity to your content and let customers know you’re a trustworthy brand. Furthermore, negative reviews help your customers make more informed purchasing decisions, which reduces returns and increases loyalty.
As a result, make sure to show all reviews, regardless of star rating.
Allow shoppers to easily identify the “worst case scenario” — and decide whether it is relevant or important to them.
Finally, consider showcasing the most supportive positive review for a given product alongside the most helpful negative review. Again, this is an excellent method for assisting shoppers in quickly identifying the worst-case scenario. It also aids them in locating the products that best meet their requirements.
2. Respond to Negative Reviews
When you receive a negative review, don’t cross your fingers and hope that it will be quickly covered up by positive reviews. Instead, confront the review by responding to it.
Every time you respond to a negative review is an opportunity to salvage a bad situation and a relationship with your customer. If you can resolve the problem, the customer is likely to return to you. Furthermore, your response will demonstrate to future customers that you value your customers and are committed to resolving their problems. This will instill confidence in prospects, allowing them to make a purchase.
Furthermore, avoid using a generic, canned response — and avoid becoming defensive. Instead, use the shopper’s name in your response and address the specific concerns raised in the negative review.
Finally, when necessary, take things offline. You may require additional information from the shopper to resolve their issue. However, make a public response to let the customer (and future customers) know you’re taking action.
3. Arm yourself with objective responses from market research
Market research allows brands to gather objective feedback from customers. Because market research exercises are anonymous, the chances of receiving honest responses from respondents increase.
The findings then point your business in the right direction.
Also, conduct market research regularly so that you are not relying on stale insights to make critical business decisions.
After offering them your product(s)/ service, for example, you can send your customers a short questionnaire. This way, you can nip problems in the bud before they embarrass your company.
You must also collaborate with trusted insights experts for actionable market research data. This approach saves you a lot of stress, and resources, and ensures your brand image is intact.
Start embracing negative reviews to discover market needs
No company sets out to receive negative feedback. However, if you are in a situation where you do receive them, they are genuine and honest feedback from real customers. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is metaphorically sweep them under the rug.
Negative reviews are also a gold mine of opportunity. However, you must be tactical in responding to them.
Instead of being afraid of negative feedback, begin to embrace it. They are not only an important tool that shoppers rely on to make confident purchasing decisions, but they are also rich in insights that can help you optimize your products and business, serve your customers better, and ultimately increase revenue.
Are you confused about how to proceed? Contact the Survey54 team for expert advice.