Not long ago, I was having a conversation with a business owner about a negative review she had received on Yelp. The good news she was a least aware of the review and took the necessary steps to remedy the customer complaint. The bad news was her discovery of the hundreds of online business directories that a potential disgruntled customer can post a review about her business without her knowledge. Her concern: How can only one person possibly find let alone monitor and react to a negative review!

Ten years or so ago, most businesses didn’t know what was being said about them online. Today, there are tools designed to scour the internet and bring positive, neutral, or negative reviews front and center for any business. And just because a business is choosing to not participate in our increasingly online world by avoiding social media, doesn’t mean people can’t write negative reviews about a business. Surprise!

Google estimates there are 2.4 billion conversations about a particular brand every day in the US.

There are about 1000 business directories on the internet and Yelp, one of the most popular sites, has 45 million unique visitors per month. So chances are, people are engaging with your business with or without your knowledge.

How are negative reviews not necessarily bad for business?

1. If you know there has been a negative review written about your company, at least you are aware that you have a disgruntled customer. This is a good thing because it gives you a platform to correct the problem.

2. A negative review can give your business an opportunity to flex your customer service muscle. If your business receives a bad review, this gives you a chance to take the conversation offline and resolve the issue. And, be sure to post how you resolved the issue online so potential customers can see your commitment to customer service.

3. Your businesses’ credibility can actually increase with a bad review. How? Think about it..no business can make 100% of their customers happy. Having a bad review along side many positive ones will give all the reviews a higher level of authenticity. People will trust your brand more.

If fact online reviews are so important that 85% of shoppers consult them before buying and 90% of consumers trust the reviews they read.

So next time your business experiences the “piling on” effect from a negative review where several people add to a bad review just because it’s in our human nature to lean toward negativity, call one of our digital consultants. We will comb the 1000 business directories and claim and clean your business listing and give you the tools along with our support to monitor all online reviews. We call this reputation management.