You’re the kind of person who grins through gritted teeth when your great Aunty Marge points out that you’re looking a little chunky. You’re extremely Zen if someone cuts you off in traffic. You’ve lost count of the times your colleague has taken credit for your new business ideas. In short, making a scene is so not your scene. And this couldn’t be more evident than when it comes to complaining about poor customer service.
Sure, you’d sooner starve than send back a meal, but negative feedback has a positive side.
Difficult to imagine? Read on to learn exactly how bad reviews can be good for the businesses you frequent.
1. They help businesses learn from their mistakes
Negative reviews help businesses identify where they’re going wrong, what can be improved upon, and what needs serious attention. They give businesses insight into their customer experience, a point of view that is impossible to achieve from the inside.
Businesses need constant feedback in order to develop, grow and improve – this is especially the case for new businesses that are still trying to establish themselves. Perhaps the check out process is clunky, they’re understaffed, or their packaging doesn’t sufficiently protect their products. They’ll never know unless you tell them.
Platforms like Hellopeter allow you to say it where it counts. You can provide positive and negative feedback, which both the business and other potential consumers can see.
By keeping your negative review civil and constructive, you’re providing a local business with valuable insights, and helping them thrive in the long run. Kudos to you!
2. They aid informed purchase decisions
Think of your negative review as your good deed for the day. Not only have you given a business some free advice, you’ve also helped their potential consumers make a more informed purchase decision.
By reading your negative review, others are informed and aware of potential unexpected elements, flaws or shortcomings. Perhaps a clothing label runs small. Or the item isn’t true to colour online. By leaving a review, you’re giving your fellow consumers a heads up. If they still choose to purchase the item they’re less likely to complain about, exchange or return it. Everybody wins.
3. They promote credibility
In this age of fake news, fake followers and fake reviews, it’s difficult to know whether or not you’re being taken for a ride. Nothing looks more suspicious than a lack of reviews, except for maybe hundreds of 5-star reviews with no substance and weird, spammy avatars.
When 100% of a business’s reviews are positive, it looks like they’re hiding something. In fact, 68% of consumers find reviews more trustworthy when they reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Nobody’s perfect, and an honest but constructive negative review adds some well-rounded balance and transparency. Negative reviews, ironically, make a business look more credible. It shows that they have nothing to hide. And they’re willing to do the work to correct their shortcomings.
4. Negative reviews make positive reviews look even better
One of the most awesome effects of negative reviews is that they can really emphasise the positive ones. Potential consumers often like to weigh up the pros and cons when researching a product, service or experience.
By considering a negative review, they’re more likely to carefully consider the positives. Similarly, the juxtaposition of negative and positive reviews gives other potential shoppers the opportunity to make informed and unbiased decisions.
5. They encourage customer engagement
These days, businesses live or die by their online reputation. By leaving a negative review you’re inviting a business to respond and rectify the situation.
You’re giving them the opportunity to make it right, and possibly add an element of humanity, humour or surprise and delight. A touch of goodwill and a quick, witty reply can do wonders for their (digital) street cred.
By handling it well, they’ll secure a consumer for life and possibly pique the interest of the former-complainers extended social media networks.
So there you have it. If you’ve been exposed to service that sucks don’t sit down and take it. Dust off that keyboard and exercise your consumer right to complain. They’ll thank you for it in the long run. And if the business won’t, a potential shopper will.
Reviews on Hellopeter have helped over one million consumers make better choices. Had an experience you’d like to tell us about? Leave us a review here.