Do Negative Reviews Really Harm Your Company?

John Krautzel
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If your company is dismissing negative reviews, it could be detrimental to your success. Customer service strategies drive consumers to either praise your business or publicize reviews that are less than stellar. Minimize the harm to your company's brand and image by focusing on strategies that aim to please to avoid negativity to rear its ugly head.

Customers Define Your Brand

Companies can invest thousands of dollars in developing a brand, but if customers have negative experiences with your personnel, the money spent may be in vain. Just one negative experience with your customer service department can create an influx of negative reviews online that ultimately impact your revenue and your company's reputation. Consumers like to be well-informed, and most of your potential customers are looking for reviews before making a purchase. One slip-up or a negative service experience can make potential consumers leery of purchasing products or services from your company.

The Ripple Effect

Although it is not possible to please every single customer, businesses need to know that just one negative customer service experience can cause significant damage. In fact, research by Moz revealed that just one single review that paints your business in a negative light has the potential to cause you to lose 22 percent of potential customers. When three or more reviews that detail negative experiences are found online, the risk increases to 59 percent of potential customers. This ripple effect can be disastrous for companies of any size and should indicate a need to re-evaluate customer service strategies – and potentially the product line – if you want to improve you brand and your customer base.

Negativity Trumps Praise

It is likely that your company has provided stellar service to many consumers. However, a bad experience is twice as likely to be publicized as a positive experience, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. In fact, 58 percent of customers are more likely to share negative customer service experiences compared to just five years ago.

Making a Change

Revamp how your customers are serviced if negativity surrounds your company's brand and reputation. Change the culture of your service department by promoting the need for empathy when your employees are communicating with customers and potential consumers. Prioritize training to ensure your personnel are equipped to deal with complaints and offer solutions to satisfy buyers. More importantly, take responsibility for errors and rectify the situation to avoid negativity empowering customers.

Companies that take a transparent approach to customer service can gain the respect of customers and potential buyers. Take a thorough look at how your company is serving its customers, and investigate the negative publicity to transform the experience for current and future consumers.

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives at


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