Why Negative Comments Lead to Positive Results

When was the last time your company received feedback on a product, service, or performance? This morning? Yesterday? Right now? Engaged Chatham-Kent small business owners are always soliciting opinions and impressions from customers within their physical store locations, but believe it or not, many still resist opening their online storefronts to customer reviews. The fear is that other shoppers will be influenced by any negative feedback and ultimately take their business elsewhere. And while this is the worst that could happen, it’s not the only outcome. Here are three ways you can take negative feedback and use it to create positive sales results for your small online business.

Negative Feedback is Valuable Because…

1. It Creates Authenticity

Every person has flaws – so too do businesses. Pretending that your company is perfect in every aspect is unauthentic. When you display negative feedback on your company website you provide customers with a true, uncensored representation of your brand – and that’s something that every customer can appreciate.

2. It Provides Guidance

Feedback is the key to making your small business truly successful – provided you act on it. Negative reviews help small business owners and management teams gain a fresh perspective and create new plans of action. Large corporations pay millions of dollars to hold focus groups and research panels in order to gain this sort of perspective. Open your website to customer reviews and you’ll gain access to this insight for free!

3. It Gives You The Opportunity to Respond

Small business owners shy away from publishing negative reviews on their online storefronts for one major reason: once posted, these negative reviews are visible to everyone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. If a customer complains about a product, (let’s say it was damaged during shipping), your company has the opportunity to respond immediately, in the same public forum. Yes, the customer posted a negative review voicing their disapproval of your shipping methods, but directly following that post there is now a response from a representative at your company apologizing for the damage and offering to ship a replacement via courier. Other potential online shoppers will respect your company all the more when they see how quickly and courteously you handled the mishap.

How to Handle Negative Feedback

When you receive negative feedback on your company website it’s important that you respond in a way that utilizes the three P’s – make sure it’s Prompt, Professional, and Productive. What’s more, always remember to avoid using corporate jargon. Baffling your customers with B.S. isn’t productive and can give the wrong impression. Try taking a tone that is professional yet friendly. It’s also important that you respond to negative feedback in the same manner that it was solicited. If the customer emails you a complaint, respond via email. If the feedback is posted on a blog article, respond on the same blog posting. This is referred to as “staying in the same room,” and helps keep both your company and customers in the same loop.

Does your company’s online storefront accept online reviews? What has your experience been with negative feedback?