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Studies show that 86% of customers read reviews on local establishments and a minimum of 10 reviews before making their decision. With this data, it’s important to make sure your online presence isn’t marked with negative reviews as they could drive away potential clients.   


A current trend revolves around people intentionally creating fake 4-star reviews to pull down a perfect 5-star rating. Four-star reviews don’t automatically appear as false, but in an abundance, they can pull the Google rating down. With a lower rating, a company will be further down the webpage and, therefore, will have trouble getting business. 


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Bad reviews are bound to happen, and they don’t have to keep you down. With a few simple actions, you can turn bad reviews around to work for you rather than against you. Here are six ways to survive those negative reviews.


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Living in a digital age comes with its ups and downs and in the land of customer reviews, it's hard to ensure that your organization is represented accurately. The power of word-of-mouth is paramount for any business but online, your customers can see the good, the bad, and the ugly — and that's okay! It's how you respond as a company that matters.

According to Glance, it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.

So how do you turn a negative comment into a positive outcome? 


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You’ve spent a great deal of time and effort training your employees, and you’re proud of the culture you’ve created within your company. Unfortunately, one day during a transaction with a customer, a misunderstanding occurs, and the customer leaves feeling unsatisfied with the level of service he received. Before you know it, you’ve lost half a star rating on your Google business page because the unhappy customer left a negative review. Here are three things you should do immediately.

  1. Read to understand. 

Take your time when reading the review. You want to understand your customer’s point of view. By putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, you’ll reply empathetically instead of defensively.

  1. Do your research.

Before responding to the review, do some digging internally to find out exactly what occurred when the customer interacted with your company. The more informed you are about the incident the better.

  1. Respond timely.

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to gather information, it’s time to respond to the customer. Begin by acknowledging the customer’s experience. Apologize, even if no one at your company made a mistake or acted inappropriately. Next, assure the customer that you have standards in place that you expect all employees to uphold. Last, invite the customer to return to your company.  

Negative reviews can do real damage to your company’s reputation. It’s imperative that you address each one. According to statistics provided by BrightLocal, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a company and, of those, 97% will take the time to specifically read the company’s responses to reviews. Additionally, 84% of consumers think that reviews older than three months aren’t relevant, and 48% of consumers only read reviews written in the past two weeks. 


Applying these three steps when you’re dealing with a negative review is a productive way to respond effectively and maintain your online reputation. 


It can be challenging keeping up with your online reviews. ReviewMaxer makes managing your online reviews easy and improves your online reputation. Want to learn more about it? Sign up for a complimentary demo today.



Amide Jean is a spring intern at Axia Public Relations and a communication student studying at the University of North Florida. She is detail-oriented and passionate about exceeding expectations and goals. Amide joined Axia in January 2020.


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In the age of technology, online reviews are often the deciding factor for prospective customers. For instance, online statistics website Qualtrics found that 93% of consumers reported online reviews impacted their purchasing decisions. What happens when the good intention of online reviews goes awry?


Thew Brewing Company received backlash in the form of negative online reviews in August 2019 after hosting fundraising events for an LGBTQ organization. The brewery held two drag shows in support of Tanager Place LGBTQ Youth Center. The first drag show was for people over 21, and after many teens who attended the center shared their interest, the brewery held an all-ages bingo drag show. 


Once word about the shows spread, online reviews began flooding in, most of them displaying disapproval of the company’s LGBTQ support and events. Thew Brewing’s dedicated regulars took note and began posting positive reviews and recommendations on the company’s Facebook page. In just two hours the brewery received 24 positive reviews and 16 negative reviews. 


Many of the negative reviews were dishonest; however, they still had an impact on the company’s overall rating. Unfortunately, many other companies have been the subject of false reviews, and some companies have even taken legal action, like this business owner in Forest Lake, Minnesota. Luckily, Thew Brewing had the support of its regular customers and other individuals to combat some of the negative backlash. 


Online review sites are a platform for honest and helpful reviews of companies. Is it OK to use them to show disappointment or disagreement with a company’s business practices? If you’re disappointed in a company’s services, then a negative review is acceptable. However, reviewers shouldn’t tarnish a company’s image if they’ve never done business with the establishment. Negative reviews can be detrimental to an organization. Thew Brewing was able to recover from its negative reviews. Would your company recover from something similar?


Your reputation and reviews are a big part of how customers decide to do business with your company. ReviewMaxer can help your company build a positive online presence. Schedule a demo today!


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Reviews can have a measurable impact on your company, both good and bad.


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