How much does a bad review cost your local business?

Do you know how much a negative review could cost your business? If you are a small business owner and are concerned about your online reputation find the answer here.


Video transcript

Today I  have a question from Guy who runs a gym in Newcastle .

How much does a bad review cost your local business?

This is a very interesting question and before I start delving into the answer I’d like to highlight the fact that a big portion of local business owners overlook the importance of reviews.

If you do a quick search in google and start looking at random local businesses in your area you’ll see that most businesses have very few reviews or even worse old ones.

This is quite extraordinary since almost 90% of online customers read online reviews to assess if a small or local business is a good business.

Reviews are critical for local businesses in many ways as they will help you with

  • your search engine ranking
  • whether or not people will click on your site
  • Help customers make the decision to purchase your product or book your service.

So based on that, can we measure the cost of a negative or bad review to a local business?

Well, according to a study conducted by a company called go fish digital  you can lose up to 22% of customers with one single negative review. Obviously the number goes up if you have more than one negative review.

I guess this helps put a number on the cost but I disagree slightly with this finding. Although I don’t dispute the number itself I think that having a bad review is not necessarily costly and can have many benefits.

Firstly, having 5 stars out of 5 looks slightly suspicious if you ask me but also as far as google is concerned. Having a profile with a few, not so great reviews, looks a lot more natural and a lot more trustworthy. It is very difficult to satisfy everyone and users will take this into consideration.

Secondly if you receive a negative or bad review you have the opportunity to shine. Answer it and post it on line.  Make sure it addresses the problem and that it is personalised, not some copy and paste standard answer you dig out every time a customer complains.

This will show everyone who reads it that you care about your customers and you are willing to go the extra mile. All your potential customers will see this.

By doing all of this you are essentially turning a negative into a positive. Will that cost your business money? I don’t think so. If anything it might even make you some in the long run as long as you are being attentive.

One thing you have to take into account is that if you don’t have many reviews and one or 2 of them are not great it will bring your average rating down which is not good for anyone as it will be displayed on google.

The bottom line is always the same. Provide an outstanding service and people will post positive reviews. Simple, basic concept.

If you are serious about your business you must have a review strategy in place as it will pay some huge dividend. Check out my tutorial on “how to get online reviews” which explains in details the best way of collecting online reviews.

I hope you’ve found this useful and thanks for visiting, post your question

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