Reviews are everywhere. You may be able to run for a short while, but even Mo Farah wouldn’t be able to keep running forever. Even if you could, would it actually do you any good? No.
Despite all the articles, blogs, podcasts, and the like talking about online reviews, there are still some big misconceptions, and maybe by writing this, I am just preaching to the converted. I hope though that this post reaches more than just the converted, and doesn’t get lost in the vacuum of internet posts. Because after all I’d like to think there is some useful advice in here, that will tell you why you should never delete negative reviews!
1) Nobody is perfect – don’t pretend that you are.
Yes, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you aren’t perfect. You don’t have to pretend to be either. In fact it’s all about how you deal with your “flaws” that decides whether they are actually flaws or indeed opportunities.
A recent statistic I saw on Vendasta showed that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores. That’s pretty impressive as is, but you know what I recon the % is actually probably higher. I mean if you look at a company and see no bad reviews it screams one really key thing in my mind. The company is manipulating what goes up, therefore these reviews cannot be trusted, and in so doing neither can the company.
95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores (Vendasta, 2016)
This leads nicely onto point two . . .
2) Opportunity to redeem yourself
So we’ve established that everyone makes mistakes. That’s fine as long as you use those mistakes as an opportunity to learn and show that you value your customers thoughts and ideas.
By replying you show you care. The slightly more complicated bit is ‘how’ you reply, and quite honestly they way you reply is going to be unique to you. If you are a funny company, then be funny. If you are a serious company be serious. There are a few core principles you want to think about though, and those are addressed in a separate blog post here.
I’m not saying replying will always be easy because some reviews can be wrong, some can be unhelpful, and some can be downright bizarre, however, each of those people have gone out of their way to write a review, so the least you can do is reply, try to help and you never know you might win a few more customers in the process!
Most people won’t tell you if they don’t like things, they’ll just go. Especially online where you don’t have to see anyone. That’s why you should actually, genuinely appreciate a review, in any form.
Reviews can be extreme but they can also be brutally honest. I don’t believe there is a single better way to get raw, honest thoughts and feedback from customers than online reviews.
Therefore, I surmise that Sales lead to review generation. Reviews lead to feedback. Feedback is used to improve the business and/or it’s processes. These improvements lead to further sales. These sales generate yet more reviews and the cycle of continual improvement rolls forward.
4) The internet is public, even if you delete it, it could come back to bite you
There are websites out there that see and save everything you post, even if you delete it within seconds. Places like https://twicopy.org/. Just when you think you’ve deleted it and you’ll be safe the comment could back up somewhere else, somewhere where you haven’t seen it. That’s why it’s always better to deal with it. Being like and Ostrich and burying your head in the sand may be good for a few hours, days, weeks, even months, but you can’t do it forever . . .
5) It’s just rude
When you delete a comment you are effectively dismissing it that persons opinions out of hand. If someone was that incensed about something that they ranted about you, do you honestly think that deleting the comment is the best way to calm them down? Yeah, I thought not.
That’s exactly why you should NEVER delete negative reviews!