Why Your Business Has Negative Reviews and Tips to Fix It

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Does your business have a bad reviews? It’s among the worst news a business owner can get, but in this article we discuss the reasons businesses get negative reviews and tips to fix it.

What do you do when someone is upset with you, your product, or your service and they’re publicly talking about it… online?

We put our heart and soul into our businesses and criticism that isn’t constructive can really leave a mark. Many businesses have that one nasty review on their Yelp or Google listing that deters new customers from calling your business. Bad reviews will not only impact your revenue but, like a bad tattoo, you have to look at that negative review everyday, it would go away.

The good news is that you can recover from a bad review but before you can begin improving your online presence, you have to get real with yourself and address the real reasons why your business is getting negative reviews.

Why Your Business Has Negative Reviews and Tips to Fix It

From our experience, there are a few very common reasons why businesses have negative reviews. The good news is that these reasons are usually fixable. The bad news is that it’s going to take work. Here’s a few of the most common reasons your business has negative reviews and tips to fix it.

Your business has “haters”

If I had a nickel every time a business owner said their worst review was actually a fake that came from a competitor, disgruntled ex-employee, or someone who was never a customer… I’d have a lot of nickels.

bad review from pizza restaurant
Actual Yelp review?

The good news is that fake reviews usually break review guidelines so it can be easier than usual to get those reviews filtered or removed. These reviews often include profane language, call names, or attack someone personally and can be flagged for removal.

(To get more information on review guidelines by platform, check our Resource page.)

Haters come with the territory, acting like trolls lying in a wait for the right business to cross their path so they can jump out and destroy it’s reputation. The best thing you can do is outshine these hater reviews with reviews from the real customers and fans of your business.

You ignore your business’s weaknesses

Reviews offer a ton of insight into your company, which is why consumers are addicted to checking them before making a purchase. A good review (positive or negative) allows you to view your business from your customer’s point of view.

When you get a new review, try reading it without getting defensive. Try to empathize with the customer and assume, like most potential customers will, that the customer is actually telling the truth. Since it’s nearly impossible to be objective when it comes to our own business, ask yourself these questions while reading the review:

  • What is the reviewer most upset about?
  • Does the reviewer specifically mention a person, product, or process in your business?
  • Have you received other reviews with similar complaints?

The answers can help you identify weaknesses in your business, address them, and fix them, but they will also allow you to respond to the customer with empathy and truly apologize for their poor experience.

The best thing you can do with an upset customer is calm them down, show them you care, and hopefully they’ll return the compassion by removing the negative review and staying a customer for life. Even if that best case scenario doesn’t happen, keep in mind that negative reviews are a great opportunity to listen to criticism from your customers and use it to improve your business.

Your customer service needs some attention

Great customer service is a game changer for any business.

Imagine this scenario: Your customer finds hair in their food. Gross.

Good customer service solves the problem and makes the customer want to come back for their next meal. If they’re going to get hair in their food, it might as well be your hair because they know you refuse to accept that type of performance out of your business.

Bad customer service loses the customer for life and usually results in one, or many, negative reviews that impact your business for years to come.

It doesn’t matter how great your online reviews are. If the customers that make it into your business have a terrible experience, your reputation isn’t going to be great for very long. Invest some time up front in having great customer service and a great online reputation will follow.

You aren’t asking happy customers for reviews

As the old saying goes, “ask and you shall receive”.

Upset customers are more motivated to bash you online than happy customers is to leave you a 5 star online review. A happy customer may tell their friends in passing about how good you are, but they’re not always going to go out of their way to brag about you, online.

Also read: How to Ask Customers to Write Reviews for Your Local Business

That changes if you’re confident enough in your business to be proactive and ask that customer for a review. Let your customers know how much you value their feedback and how much it will help your business.

Don’t forget to make it as easy as possible for the customer to leave you a review. You’ll be surprised how many people will be willing to take a minute to help you and your business.

The Bottom Line

Of course you want a great online reputation for your business, but you have to be willing to objectively analyze your business and address the issues that lead to poor reviews in the first place. With a few tweaks, you can be more confident in your business and start asking your happy customers for real reviews, right away.

Have you received a review that helped you improve a product or process in your business? We’d like to hear about it. Share your story in the comments below. 

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