Do Negative Experiences Prompt More Business Reviews?

According to, “Consumers are slightly more likely to write a business review after a negative experience than a positive one” according to a poll conducted late last month.  (The poll was conducted on behalf of Street Fight by third-party opinions site Toluna)

Here’s what the poll of 1,000 U.S. respondents found:

  • 19.1 percent of respondents are more likely to write a review after a poor experience
  • 16.8 percent after a pleasant one
  • Another 42.5 percent said they’re equally likely to write a review regardless of the experience
  • 21.6 percent said they’re not likely to write a review at all
  • consumers aged 18-54 are about as likely to review a business after a positive or negative experience
  • respondents over 55 are approximately 50 percent more likely to review negatively

So, those ticked off customers are more likely to make the effort to leave a review – especially if they are over 55 years old!  Right?

So why not go after those who are more likely to leave a review after a pleasant experience and those that say they are equally likely to leave a review whether they are happy or not!  Too bad they don’t have a little sign blinking on their forehead saying which group they’re in when they walk in the door!

Without a blinking sign, it’s so important for all businesses to make sure they’re providing a positive experience for all their customers.  Haven’t you heard that bad news travels fast?  Now technology makes that bad news available before that unhappy customer even walks out your door.

Here’s the deal:  problems are going to happen.  People make mistakes and some things are just out of our control.  But how the staff, the manager, or the owner deals with the problem is definitely in our control.

What’s the message and theme that shows up in most negative reviews?  It’s there in almost every negative review I read.

“The manager did nothing to correct the problem.”

“They didn’t even act like they cared.”

“They told me it would take an hour to fix my car and two hours later I was still sitting there waiting.  No communication.  No apology.”

“They were so rude and acted like they weren’t interested in helping me.”

As a small business owner, are you creating a “reputation marketing” culture in your organization? If not, review these steps you can take today:

  • Model behaviors for your employees that reflect “the customer is #1″
  • Communicate with customers at every opportunity so they know what to expect from your service or product
  • Authorize employees to make immediate decisions to fix a customer problem right on the spot
  • Train employees about the best ways to resolve customer complaints OR how to avoid them from the beginning
  • Respond responsibly to ALL reviews – including the bad ones!
  • Put yourself in the customers’ shoes!

Contact us if you would like additional help in creating a reputation marketing culture in your business.