Should you be worried about bad INTERNET reviews?

88% of consumers are influenced by on-line reviews. If you have negative ones showing up for branded/direct searches, kiss that customer goodbye.

In short, yes. Especially if your reviews are on a platform other than your website (e.g. Facebook or comparison websites). However, if you provide a good quality product or service then you should not have anything to worry about.

It is worth, however, thinking about a backup plan if you are faced with a bad review. If I ever have a complaint, I am far more likely to put it on social media because it is where more people are likely to see it. It is also most likely to prompt a response from the place I’m complaining to.

The best ways to deal with negativity:

1. Always apologize – Whether or not it is your fault, the customer is always right and if they’ve felt disgruntled enough to write a complaint, then it is worth defusing the bomb before it goes off.

2. Offer some sort of concession as an apology. A R100 off voucher, 25 percent their next order or simply a cheap freebie.

3. Learn from your mistakes. Sometimes a customer’s complaint is valid. They’ve had a bad experience and they feel ripped off. I imagine that is not the experience you wanted to create when you started your business.

Find out where it went wrong and implement a process to change it in future.