Are You Deleting Negative Reviews? It May Be Costing You Customers

posted this in
Social Media
on September 26th, 2013

Pop Quiz: You just received a comment on Facebook from a customer who had a bad experience with your company. What do you do?

A. Delete the review immediately and forget it ever happened

B. Ignore the comment (who has time for that?)

C. Reply to the comment and try to turn their experience around

If you answered A or B, you’re in the right place. (And if you answered C, you should check out this blog to make sure you’re responding the right way.)

It’s natural to want to delete negative reviews. You want your customers to see your company in a positive light and a negative comment might compromise your reputation.

But when you get bad feedback, does deleting a negative review actually help your business? It might help the situation disappear at first, but it could have a long term affect on your business.

Why deleting negative reviews can cost you

Did you know that 42% of customers who turn to social media to complain to a company expect a response within 60 minutes?

If you’re not responding quickly and just deleting reviews, you’re cutting off what could be your only chance to recover a lost customer.

And since many businesses receive 25% to 40% of their revenue from returning customers, by deleting a negative comment from a customer, you could be directly affecting your revenue.

One company conducted a study that tracked a number of customers who left negative reviews on review communities and social media websites.

Of the customers who left reviews, 68% got a response from the companies and 18% of those customers made another purchase as a result of getting a response.

And of the 68% of customers who got a response, 34% removed their original negative review and 33% turned around and posted a positive review for the company.

Customers who leave negative reviews are more likely to purchase from your business again if you try to fix the situation immediately.

When it’s okay to delete a review

There are definitely times when it’s okay to delete a negative comment. Many companies have policies in place (check out Skittles and Modcloth for a few examples) that clearly outline when feedback won’t be tolerated.

If a customer is clearly trying to cause a problem by spamming your page or using defamatory language to describe your company, you have every right to remove the comments.

There’s a huge difference between someone leaving you constructive feedback and someone trying to “troll” your page.

A few final thoughts

Before you delete or hide any feedback, there’s a few things I want you to remember:

  • Don’t immediately delete or hide reviews. Have a plan in place for what happens when you receive a bad review and a person responsible for responding every time.
  • Stay calm when responding to negative reviews and never let your emotions write your response.
  • No matter how awesome your company is, you’ll always have a customer who had a bad experience. It’s the way you handle the situation that really matters.

Stuck in the habit of deleting negative reviews instead of addressing them? We’re happy to help you put together a plan for responding to negative reviews. Contact us online!