The importance of addressing negative reviews

Publish date:

It seems like everyone from my doctor to my car dealer wants me to give their performance a good review these days. Can it take just one bad experience to trigger a negative review and turn off prospects? Good question! Clearly, understanding the potential positive or negative power and responding accordingly is important for a dealer to consider these days.

Negative reviews are every business owner’s nightmare. So says my favorite business blogger Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company. That said, she says it’s really a double-edged sword: “But if you think a bad review or two turns away customers, think again,” she advises. “A few less-than-stellar reviews can actually make customers trust your reviews even more. If a business has no negative reviews, 95 percent of consumers suspect the good reviews are fake, or the bad reviews have been censored.”

Surprisingly, 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Moreover, consumers spend an average of 31 percent more money with companies that have excellent online reviews. Conversely, zeroing in on the millennials in particular, a whopping 60 percent will share a bad experience by writing a complaint, post it on social media, or leave a negative review.

So how should a dealer deal with negatives? Writing for “Bank of America Small Business Community,” Rieva recently offered these tips:

  1. Reply to a negative review as soon as you see it. (There is reputation management software for small businesses).
  2. Express empathy for the customer’s unhappiness.
  3. Don’t discuss it in public. Ask the customer to contact you privately by phone or in person.
  4. Once resolved, ask the customer if they’d be willing to add an update to their original review. Read Rieva’s full article.

Getting those positive reviews should certainly be the priority. To do it, here is a sampling of Rieva’s dos and don’ts:

  • Do ask customers to review your business. When you know a customer is happy, say something like: “We'd love it if you’d review us on Yelp” or “We’ll send you a request to review us and we hope you’ll take time to do it.”
  • Don’t make customers search all over to review you. Direct them to your selected, specific review site(s).
  • Do print “Please Review Us” on your receipts or invoices.
  • Don’t assume you’re finished after you get some positive reviews. It has been determined that consumers will read an average of 7 reviews before they feel confident about a business. You want new, fresh reviews coming in.
  • Do include requests for reviews in your emails, newsletters and other marketing materials; also indicate which review site(s) you’re on by using some signage in your showroom.

Finally, Rieva hits the absolute top target when it comes to getting good reviews: “Provide great service! Yes, it’s obvious, but too often forgotten,” she warns. “The only sustainable way to get more positive reviews is to offer outstanding products and services.”


Brunswick Partners with Carnegie Robotics

Through the alliance, Brunswick aims to enhance its autonomous technology offerings.

Nicole Vasilaros to Depart NMMA

The group credits the senior vice president of government and legal affairs for “countless contributions to the protection and expansion of the recreational boating industry.”

Site Unseen

A website is often the first interaction a customer will have with a dealership, but it must provide more than an online brochure or they will click elsewhere.

C.G. Amends Documentation Rules

Federally documenting a boat now must be done every five years, rather than annually.

The 2021 Top 10 Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards

The marine industry consistently honors products and people. The industry, however, has not recognized forward-thinking companies that are moving the industry in new directions. Soundings Trade Only’s mission is to reflect, inform and inspire.

German Superyacht Yard Files for Bankruptcy

Nobiskrug cited a lack of orders, the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors in its decision to start the proceedings.

West Marine Acquired

The private-equity firm L Catterton will take a controlling interest in the retailer’s ownership.

Kicker Supports Two Events on Lake Havasu

The marine audio company will take part in the performance-boat events Super Cat Fest West and the Desert Storm Poker Run this weekend and next.

Bay Bridge Show Starts Tomorrow

The combined sail- and powerboat show runs through Sunday in Stevensville, Md.