The power of social media has changed how consumers purchase items and enlist a company’s services – for better and worse. Gone are the days of customers relying on the testimony of friends and family or a company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Now, a plethora of sites offer their users the opportunity to voice their experiences, both good and bad. While businesses welcome and encourage positive reviews, they’re often panicked by negative ones. Fear not, learn why negative reviews can be seen as an opportunity and channel positive outcomes –

1. It’s a way to identify areas for improvement.

Our field of sight is often limited, and sometimes we don’t see things unless we’re made aware of them. This is no less true than when a customer brings matters to our attention through a review posted online. It’s a way to identify where we fall short from a customer’s point of view.

2. They present an opportunity to engage with your customers.

Consumers read and rely on business reviews… a lot. 97% of them are reading reviews, and 84% trust them to steer their dollars in the right direction. Most all platforms allow a business to respond to feedback, thereby showing the world how you chose to treat your customers. When businesses are faced with a negative review, it offers a unique chance to highlight your company’s values and culture by addressing criticism head on and in public view. Most people agree that it’s not a complaint that damages an online reputation, it’s the lack of response to one.

3. You can collect insights about your customer.

Sometimes a negative review can occur in an unlikely place. We are now a data-driven society. Marketers are constantly on the lookout for useful metrics and new ways to determine how and why people buy. However, these analytical tools give a very broad accounting of information and can leave out the finer details. While your data may point to one platform as being your primary source of revenue, customers may still take to voicing their opinions on another – don’t let data dictate solely where you focus your efforts. Be mindful of trends that buck your reporting systems to ensure your customer base is receiving the absolute best service you have to offer.

Gone are the days of a “BBB” sticker on an entry door being the only signifier of a business’ good standing. More buyers than ever are referring to online reviews to gauge whether or not a company is worthy of their business. While having your reputation so visibly in the hands of the public can seem daunting, there’s no reason you can’t use all of your feedback for the betterment of your next customer’s experience.

Duncan/Day knows social media. If you’re seeking help defining your brand or navigating how to interact with customers over each platform, reach out to us. With over 32 years of advertising and marketing experience, we can craft a solid plan of action and show you how to implement your strategy. Let us show you how to let social media work for you!