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How Can You Make Your Negative Online Reviews Matter?

Most companies aim for all-positive reviews, but having five-star-only reviews on an industry channel or your own website can work against any business. Visual content engine, Stackla, published a Consumer Content Report, which tapped into the habits of thousands of people in the US, the UK, and Australia. Their research uncovered one key fact: authenticity is more important than ever. Around 86% of people seek openness when deciding whether or not to support a brand, and that means they are interested in knowing real opinions of other customers.

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Why Should You Leave Honest Reviews?

Even if you support a company and you are a loyal customer, it is vital to leave an honest review for one important reason: your customer experience counts. If you are disappointed with a product, service, or the way a company has dealt with an issue, going online and letting others know about it does two things. First, it allows the company to make amends. Secondly, it provides others with vital information that can be ‘make or break’ when it comes to their purchasing decisions.

Which Platforms Are Appropriate For Complaints?

Depending on what your goal is, you may choose different media to share your views. One popular medium is Twitter, which allows users to mention the company or tag them, with a view to receiving an answer. Because this type of content can become viral in a matter of hours, mentioning a company allows them to make amends. If they offer you a reasonable solution and show commitment to improving your subsequent experience, by all means share the good news with your followers as well. Other media, notes Complaints Base, are aimed more at fellow customers or business, rather than at the company that has caused the problem. They are used as ‘warning sites’, and are used after attempts at communication may have broken down. It is important to give businesses a chance to address and remedy a problem. Sometimes, customer disappointment is caused by miscommunication or by faulty procedures that can easily be remedied.

How To Phrase A Negative Review?

If your review contains too many superlatives, or is exceedingly negative and even insulting, its authenticity can come into question. That is, it can either seem that you have something personal against the company, or that you are a competitor wishing to bring the company’s ratings down.As noted by academics at Washington University, effective language must be clear, concise, and constructive – not exceedingly negative.

Sticking To The Issue

It is important to pick the right battles if you want to be taken seriously – and this means sticking to the main issues that need fixing. Too many complaints can drown out what you are really unhappy about. They can also make it difficult for the company to fully make amends, or even understand the main reasons why you are unhappy. When making a complaint, you should also have worked out exactly what you are after. Is it a refund, an upgrade, or simply acknowledgement by the company? When reviewing a product or service, describe the issue concisely, and state what you need from the company. The simpler and shorter your complaint, the easier it will be for the company to offer a solution that is satisfactory to both parties.

Negative reviews are powerful because of the rapidity at which information travels online. However, companies that are committed to their clients will see a well formulated review as a golden opportunity to show their level of customer service and commitment. Make it easy for the target company to work alongside you to find an ideal solution. Ensure you stick to one or two main issues, use constructive language, and show that you are open to continue your relationship with the company – provided they are willing to do what it takes to ensure you are satisfied.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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