Customers who leave negative reviews can be salvaged—and even boost your reputation

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Public Relations

Communicators are aware that a brand’s online reviews can be one of its biggest sales drivers (or sales killers, depending on the review)—84 percent of people read online reviews before making a purchase, and negative reviews can influence the majority of buying decisions—but many businesses assume that once a review is posted, the customer is already won (or lost) and that’s the end of it. 

But new research from aptly-named online consumer advocacy and review website PissedConsumer.com shows that there is still an opportunity with customers who left bad reviews—and how businesses can use negative reviews to improve their online reputation.

The firm’s new report, The Impact of Online Reviews: Turning Negative Customer Feedback into Customer Service Success, based on its survey of over 4000 consumers, asserts that closely monitoring and responding to reviews, and taking action to right the wrongs specified within the negative ones, can turn a loss into a big win—one that will help stop those bad reviews from dissuading potential customers.

Customers who leave negative reviews can be salvaged—and even boost your reputation“From the business perspective, online reviews can feel out of a company’s control. This survey demonstrates the opposite is true,” said Michael Podolsky, CEO and co-founder of PissedConsumer.com, in a news release. “Most shoppers—86.8 percent—said they try to reach a company’s customer service team before leaving a negative review. This means most negative online reviews are preventable through accessible and responsive customer service. Even after negative reviews are posted, 33.1 percent of people said they would do business with a company again if their issue was resolved. This is why it’s vital that businesses monitor these reviews and respond appropriately.”

Which review sites do consumers use?

Customers who leave negative reviews can be salvaged—and even boost your reputation

It’s not enough for companies to monitor feedback left on their own websites

Customers don’t trust company websites as much as third-party review platforms. According to survey results, if businesses want to conduct an online reputation audit or engage in positive review management, they should focus on trusted sources like major search engines, online shopping portals, and consumer review websites.

Customers who leave negative reviews can be salvaged—and even boost your reputation

“At Pissed Consumer, we’ve long believed in taking a proactive approach to review and reputation management,” said Podolsky. “These survey results provide further evidence that businesses can directly impact their online reputation by monitoring reviews and taking positive steps to rebuild relationships with unhappy customers. In the end, customers want to feel heard after having a negative experience. Empathy and a genuine effort to fix problems go a long way.”

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter