Let’s Face It: Negative Reviews Drive Customers Away

August 26th, 2020

Negative reviews: If you’ve been in business long enough, chances are you probably have one. No big deal or is it? While the impact of one or two negative reviews can be minute, a handful of negative reviews can hurt your site and your Google ranking.

In a nutshell, your negative reviews have the potential to drive customers away.

Alarming Algorithms

Google has over 200 factors that govern how it ranks websites, everything from being mobile-ready to how fast your website loads. An abundance of negative review information, on the other hand, is likely to cause Google’s algorithms to pick up all of that negative feedback.

In fact, in what is known as the Décor My Eyes situation from as far back as 10 years ago, Google has used legitimate negative reviews as a means to rank businesses. Therefore, if you have a handful of negative reviews, that can alarm Google’s algorithm in your search engine results page (SERP).

As a result, lots of negative reviews drive potential customers away from your business because they won’t ever see you on the first SERP after they have searched for keywords related to your business, product, or services provided. If customers can’t find your business online, you are throwing away a viable source of revenue. In this day and age, you can’t afford not to do business online, and knowing the influence of negative reviews keeps you ahead of the competition.

A recent study conducted by Moz found that it only took one negative review of their product or service for a business to lose around 22 percent of interested customers. As you acquire more negative reviews, the chance of losing more customers goes up further. For instance, three negative reviews can result in 59.2 percent loss in customers, and four negative reviews increasing the percentage of lost customers to 70 percent.

While the basis of how Google’s algorithm works is not an exact science, it is no secret that ratings based on reviews affect your Google ranking. And when it comes to negative reviews, Google is going to try to push customers to those businesses who are rating well.

 Be Proactive

All is not lost. A great way to deal with customer assessments is to become proactive when responding to reviews, both positive and negative. The importance of your online reputation cannot be underscored.

Even if we weren’t susceptible to the way Google ranks our business pages, we want to show potential customers that we are proactive in not only thanking customers for their kind words but alleviating and addressing any of our dissatisfied customers’ concerns as well. That’s just good business that should be rewarded as excellent customer service is key to a business’ survival.

Here is a quick checklist on how to be proactive when responding to reviews:

  1. If you feel that a customer is experiencing a negative situation with your business, try and resolve the issue before it ever goes online. Being apologetic and empathizing with customers can go a long way towards making a compromise.
  2. Respond to reviews as quickly as possible. Develop a strategy as to how you will respond to all reviews. Customers love businesses that rely on swift and thorough communication for problem-solving.
  3. Take your conversation offline. After responding to the initial negative review, ask the customer if they can send you a direct message so that you can try to fix the problem without other potential customers getting a glimpse of your bargaining power.
  4. Encourage customers who have had positive experiences to leave you a review! Your tenured customers will more than likely be happy to go to bat for you and give a quick assessment of just how awesome you and your business are.


If you need a digital marketing agency that understands the nuances of online reviews and reputation management, reach out to Cobalt Digital Marketing today.

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