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How Negative Reviews Can Help Your Business

Sonja Dyess Posted by Sonja Dyess on July 18, 2016

You may be saying to yourself, "this person has lost her mind, negative reviews can only hurt, not help." 

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A recent study found that 90% of guests look to Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook and Google before making that final decision to either make a reservation at their desired place to stay or take a chance on that latest interesting menu.

It's true, we all hate bad reviews, no one wants to hear their baby was misbehaving. But the truth is we all know it happens and that without fail, it will happen. So how can we turn these negative eyesores into a positive glimpses of hope? 

When consumers see that you have negative reviews it is not necessarily a bad thing. One it tells the reviewer that your establishment is not "buying" reviews or making your employees write the reviews. When they are all positive that tends to give the reader a red flag. Nobody is perfect all the time. Also, by now, we are all aware of the 1 star bandits. You know whom we are referring to: those folks that love to complain and hopefully get something free just because they complained. Luckily for you, you know how to deal with them because you have this handy little guide called How To Handle Negative Reviews. Actually, that 1 star bandit can help you. 

When you occasionally have the negative review, it is best to respond. Negative reviews that have a professional and appropriate response actually add credibility to your establishment and your rating. Not responding to the negative review is the worst thing you can do. Your guests want to see how you handle upset customers and more than anything, to see that you care about what your guests think and their experience. 

I have heard many times from restaurant owners as well as vacation rentals, "I don't have the time to deal with them and if I don't have a listing then they can't write a review." You need to either find the time or find someone to handle your reviews for you. As for "no listing" well, that has changed. They can write a review about an establishment that doesn't have a "claimed" listing. If you are on Google Maps, then you can be listed on most review platforms. Also, do you really want to have folks complain or compliment you and not know about it? Today's word of mouth is more powerful due to the fact that the internet is a strong part of the majority of people's lives. 

My advice to you is, take advantage of those negative reviews and make them work in your favor. It can happen, I do it all the time. 

Topics: Customer Service

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