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The Cost of a Negative Review

What if we told you a single bad review is likely to drive away 1 person out of every 10 visitors.

Doesn’t seem like such a big deal considering that means you have a 90% bounce back rate from bad reviews, however, when it comes to the actual dollars you are losing from reviews – what’s the true cost of negativity?

Well, to identify what the revenue loss of a bad review is – there’s a formula you can use based on your own prices and this 1 out of 10 circumstances.

If your website receives 300 views a day and your average product is $25, that means you are turning off 30 potential customers and ‘losing’ about $750 from the effects of that single review. Now combine this formula to represent the total number of bad reviews you receive along with the prices of those products and you are losing thousands in earning potential.

Not only does the effect of a bad review influence that single purchase, but it also abolishes a potential customer relationship and therefore earnings you COULD have developed with that person over time. Overall, the cost of a bad review is quite hefty if it is not addressed and countered for the growth and perception of your business.

So how do you come back from a bad review and mitigate the effects it has?

Positivity Overload

Sometimes, your only option is to bury the negative review by accumulating way more positive reviews you can boast. After receiving a review, you’ll want to work extra hard to respond with compassion, solve the problem/concern while also trying to move it down the list. Oftentimes, when a customer receives a careful response to their negative review, 83% will change the review to be less negative or take it down completely. But in case this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to act on or fix the issue so positivity flows in the next time someone receives your product or service.

In case there isn’t a chance to change the product based on a bad review, you could use strategies like sending a gift with purchase, or a discount coupon, so your customers are elated by the unexpected gesture and comment positively about your customer service.

Since there’s only so much you can do from a fulfillment standpoint, the second issue to tackle with negative reviews is how to mitigate the public’s perception of your brand if one bad review continues to haunt your potential.

Online Vulnerability

Given the nature of online culture and social media, any modern brand hopes that anything their brand posts online won’t be wrongly perceived and shunned by the masses. But sometimes, we can be as proud of our content as possible, but that does not alleviate the chance for someone to take it the wrong way and a terrible review to spread like wildfire across the social media streets. 

Take Aunt Jemima for example. Due to multiple bad reviews of their exploitation and inclusivity issues, in 2020, they were under pressure to change the branding of their products to mitigate thousands of bad reviews spread across social media and no doubt hundreds of thousands of dollars lost during the crisis. But at the end of the day, they listened and pivoted due to the negativity about the old branding. Now known as Pearl Mill Company, this brand is a prime example of how negativity can set you back at first, but be used as an opportunity. As long as you prove to be a brand of integrity that gives people what they want and improves the world overall, there’s no reason your business can’t come back and seriously profit from righting the wrongs in bad reviews.

Dealing With The Negative

Bottom-line, due to the value placed on word of mouth – a bad review can disrupt a lot in your short term and long-term business. If you are in the midst of receiving some negative feedback, know that there are review management strategies to not only deal with your negative reviews, but also build trust with your customers and drive more traffic to your business.

The key is to find a happy medium. Don’t ignore negative reviews, but don’t overreact to them either. Give each the attention and care they deserve. When negative feedback comes in, take the time to learn about this client’s experience and how you can help. If you deem the review to be fake, there are other ways to deal with that, such as having the reviews permanently removed.

Regardless of your strategy, the reality is, a single negative review can have a large impact on the perception of your business, which will repel certain customers from choosing your brand. The risks that reviews can bring to your brands bottom-line can be averted through the strategies and tactics listed above.