Bad Press: How A Single Bad Review Can Snowball

Bad reviews can be the difference between excelling or failing as a business. Click here to find out how they snowball and what you can do to alleviate them.

Bad Press: How A Single Bad Review Can Snowball


Starting a business can have a number of pitfalls. They’re inevitable, really. If you see starting a business as starting a cross-country marathon, it’s unlikely that you will gloss over perfectly flat ground without ever breaking a sweat. 

There are obstacles along the way. Uneven terrain that you have to navigate, stitches you have to push through, adverse weather you have to shield against. Running a business, like running a marathon, takes patience, planning and preparation. 

Every step you take has to be measured and anticipated in order to make sure you get to the finish line in one piece. You have to know what pitfalls to look out for, and more importantly, you have to plan ahead for any events that will be out of your control. 

The Path Ahead

This is where a lot of businesses trip up. Sure, plenty of planning can go into starting up and preparing for what you know the path will be, but not many businesses prepare for the uncontrollable. 

After all, why would you? What’s the point of taking time to put a contingency in place for something that hasn’t happened and may never happen at all? 

When you consider that 20% of all new businesses fail in the first year (with a further 60% failing in the first three years), then it’s easy to figure out those questions. Of course, no business expects to fail, and the reason these companies have is most likely due to the fact that something went wrong which was either out of their control or not considered at all. 

The Hurdle That Hasn’t Happened Yet

Take bad reviews, for instance. According to a 2021 study, 9 out of 10 consumers will visit a review site before making a decision on what they are purchasing. This will be the case whether you are a B2C or B2B business: reviews matter and people read them. 

A lot of the time, bad reviews can be the single most impactful factor in the downfall of a business. Your brand online reputation is important and can be the difference between winning or failing. After all, if relations with the consumer are bad, then there will be no repeat custom and furthermore a new obstacle in potential custom. 

Research shows that a single bad review can drive away 22% of business prospects, which is around thirty customers per review. On top of this, the more negative reviews your customer has, the more that percentage increases. When you start to look at the facts and the figures, then it becomes obvious that reviews are something you should take seriously when you’re mapping out your business journey. 

How To Smash A Snowball Before It Gets Too Big

But how can you prepare for a review that hasn’t happened yet? You cannot anticipate what kind of review will be written and that makes things difficult when gearing yourself up for one. 

Well, first off, we think that the term “be proactive not reactive” is overused and a little pretentious. Of course you can be proactive with a bad review, but it is not always entirely feasible when it comes to preventing the next one. Even the most successful small businesses who actively solve customer problems will still get a bad review down the line. Sometimes they just come out of the blue and bite you where it hurts. 

But that’s not to say the phrase should be totally ignored. As a business, finding an online reputation management agency is the best way to keep on top of your online presence and keep the cogs of your online reputation turning. The right agency can counter bad reviews before they snowball into something bigger, and they can also promote your positive feedback, leaving potential customers with far more chance to see the good stuff over the bad. What’s more, if you do this, you will have placed your reputation management into the hands of professionals, which is both efficient and saves time for your own business to get on with the product at hand.

Plan Your Stance Ahead Of Time

As well as this, there are things that you yourself can do to alleviate any issues as and when they happen. Customers want to know that so replying to the bad comments in the same way that you would reply to the good ones can be crucial in putting across the right impression. 

If you have got a bad customer review, make sure to answer it quickly to minimise damage. Give each comment an individual, custom response to show that there is a human behind this business and that customer feedback is not bouncing off a brick wall. 

As well as this, try to be as thoughtful and honest as you can. Transparency is needed in any business, and, despite the negative nature of them, a bad review can be utilised to demonstrate an openness and inclusivity that can draw in new customers in spite of the context. Just remember to be fast. Minutes on the internet are like seconds in the real world. Things happen fast and they spread even faster, so you need to be swift, honest and appreciative of any feedback. 



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