How Negative Reviews Impact Brand Image


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Now, more than ever, what consumers think about your brand matters. Post pandemic, online reviews and review websites have become more significant than before, due to the rise in online shopping over the last couple of years.

In addition, consumers spend a larger portion of their time researching around the product or service they want to buy and reviews – whether positive or negative – have an impact on this process. To note, review websites like get around 4M visitors per month who search for customer feedback and valuable information regarding brands and their products and services.

According to a US survey in March 2023, 43% of respondents said that customer reviews online are ‘very helpful.’ In fact, 76% of consumers ‘regularly’ read them, revealing their importance for brand image strategy. That’s why monitoring and responding helpfully to reviews is vital for brand growth, helping to nurture customer relationships and sustain a trustworthy reputation.

The Potential Cost of Negative Reviews

Ignoring negative reviews may be an expensive misstep. Some companies don’t thoroughly monitor all of the conversations their customers are having about their products or services.

Not having a clear focus and ensuring you respond to negative reviews in a timely fashion could cost you business and affect your future goals. Here are some ways in which negative reviews can adversely impact your brand.

Reduced reliability

Customers who spend time reading and taking in online reviews notice brand responses. If there aren’t any reactions at all, this diminishes the trustworthiness of the company in consumers’ eyes.

Brands that don’t respond in a quick enough time or reply in an unhelpful way risk driving more customers away, rather than nurturing through proactive behaviors.

Downgraded revenue

After customers see and feel a brand isn’t listening to and dealing with negative reviews, there will likely be a reduction in the amount of shoppers who want to purchase with them.

As a result, this cycle will have an influence on revenue streams, and could be costly in terms of securing present and future business.

Companies that want to build reputations and nurture customer relationships have to think smart about customer communication and how to help rather than hinder consumers to resolve their pain points.

Churned customers

Reading through review websites and hearing other customers complain will potentially end up in higher values of customer churn.

Brands need returning customers to drive their business and revenue forward, so making sure actual real time customers get what they need is a purposeful strategy in customer churn reduction.

How to Turn Negative Reviews Into a Business Advantage

Having a proactive strategy that helps your customer service teams to respond effectively to negative reviews should be an important thread in your brand image building approach.

Being present where your customers are online helps you keep pace with both positive and negative reviews and know what is being said and how this impacts your brand.

When a negative review is received, it’s necessary to respond in a timely fashion. These days, customers want to be seen and heard quickly, to feel they are being listened to.

It’s essential to connect with your customers, listen carefully to their issues, thank them for their time, and apologize for any inconvenience. Consumers want you to take responsibility where this is required and provide proactive advice and solutions to resolve their problems.

This is where brands can turn negative reviews into more positive customer experiences by demonstrating to the customer leaving the review that you care what they think and are helping them.

In turn, this will show other consumers that you are a brand that cares, listens to their customers, and will try to reduce dissatisfaction if it occurs.

Negative Reviews Can Transform Your Customer Service

Using negative reviews as learning tools may be a really dynamic approach to incorporate in your brand playbook. Here are a number of ways in which learning from negative reviews can add real value to your brand and help you reach your goals.

Improved feedback

When customer service teams know how to deal practically with dissatisfied customers and resolve their issues, it helps develop a brand language that can be used across the business.

This brand vocabulary empowers teams to provide quick and helpful feedback to customers so they know they have been heard and will receive the appropriate support.

Increased credibility

Customers don’t just suspect they should spend their hard-earned money with you; they know it will be safe if they can see you deal respectfully and responsibly with any issues. Enhanced credibility is like a treasure trove for brands to showcase online.

Positive customer experience

When you turn around a negative customer experience into a positive one, these customers are likely to become your brand cheerleaders, letting others know you have resolved their pain points and that you are worthy of their trust.

This is a golden opportunity for any brand to take up and run with, publicly demonstrating how they treat customers with respect. This kind of promotion can’t be bought and works beyond simply helping one customer.

Boosted sales

When negative reviews are quickly resolved and customers are smiling about your product or service, they will let others know about it online. Good news travels, and your brand will benefit in rising revenue if you transform those negative reviews into more positive ones.

Mitigate Damage and Maximize Customer Satisfaction

If the risks of negative reviews are not mitigated, there is a danger that brands are not safeguarding their reputation and nurturing their customers’ interests.

These are priceless strategies to adopt for a business that wants to evolve and grow. Paying attention to the details does count in order to protect online profiles and increase customer retention.

Jane Grin
Jane Grin is a Director of Operations at Opinion Corp, customer service, and consumer advocacy company. She has been in the customer service area for 11 years and has gained extensive experience in communication with consumers and businesses. With such a background, she has come to her current position to oversee the daily activities of the business, and coordinate teams towards the result.


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