Entrepreneurs

Council Post: How To Use Negative Reviews To Grow Your Business

By Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms, a drag-and-drop form builder for WordPress that’s used on over 4,000,000 websites.

When you run a business, you’re bound to receive negative reviews at some point. Even the most well-run companies can’t please everyone, and when that happens, some customers turn to ratings and reviews to express their opinions.

While negative reviews might seem like a red flag at first, they’re unavoidable. No business can please everyone and it’s normal to get less than stellar reviews, even if the majority disagree.

But just because you receive negative customer reviews doesn’t mean your business can’t be successful or continue to grow. You can use negative reviews to improve your current marketing strategy and address the issues and concerns brought up. This will help your brand attract relevant customers who appreciate your products and services and encourage them to return.

If you want to use negative reviews in a positive way to enhance your business, here are three tips to help you get started.

Build Trust With Your Audience

When customers look up ratings for your business, they don’t expect to see only five stars. It’s unrealistic to think that a business will never encounter an unsatisfied customer or face an unpleasant review. So if that’s all they see when they search your brand, it’ll raise suspicions. 

Believe it or not, having negative reviews helps your brand build trust with your audience. A business with 100% five-star ratings would immediately raise suspicions because people know that no company can appease everyone. 

When you receive negative feedback, take it in stride and remember that it can help your business grow rather than negatively affect it. It demonstrates your brand’s transparency and supports its positive reputation. 

Ramp Up Customer Engagement

When someone leaves a review, they’re choosing to share their experience with you. Customer feedback gives you the opportunity to improve your marketing strategies as well as address questions and concerns. In doing so, you can boost customer engagement and build loyalty with your audience.

Use negative reviews to respond to complaints and offer a way to make things right. There’s nothing you can do about mistakes already made, but putting in effort goes a long way with customers. They want to know you care about their experience and your business isn’t only about making a profit.

It’s not only helpful but necessary to respond to negative feedback and offer solutions to your customers. If your brand made a mistake, calmly apologize for the setback and show that you understand their frustration. From there, you can ask for more details if you need them and encourage your customers to engage with your customer service team so they’re likelier to return.

Identify Issues

Negative feedback always seems daunting at first, but how else would you be able to identify potential issues with your processes? Whether it’s customer service, your products, your website or something else, you want to make sure your strategy is the most refined it can be for the best results possible. 

To improve your business, you need to hear what’s working and what isn’t. Negative reviews don’t hold back on sharing information about your business that requires progress. You can’t improve what you aren’t aware of, so even if you don’t like receiving them, they’re still necessary and helpful.

What can you learn from what complaints customers express about your business? If many reviews say the same thing, it’s worth looking into better strategies so you can provide the smoothest customer experience possible. The more you listen to their concerns, the better your business will operate. 

Over To You

As a business owner, it can feel daunting to receive negative reviews on your products and services. But it’s a great way to start a conversation with customers, enhance user engagement, address existing issues and strengthen your marketing strategies. As long as you use them to improve, you’re on the path to more conversions, customers and sales. How will you use negative feedback to enhance your business?

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