Paying for being negative
Have you ever had someone tell you something bad about yourself? You most likely have, so what did you do with it? If you actually improved yourself due to this comment, good for you! However, you most likely ignored this person and went on your merry way trying to forget something bad was ever said.
In today’s world of technology, worth-of-mouth is an important way for companies to get free advertising. Especially reviews directly on their own websites are a popular method. However, negative reviews are something that companies do not like at all. Just like you, companies rather ignore and forget it when people say something bad about them. Although ignoring it is a lot more difficult when it is published online, right? After all, what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet forever.
There are however companies that try their best to get rid of negative reviews. An interesting article from 2011 uses Yelp.com as an example. Apparently Yelp was so kind to offer companies help in removing negative customer reviews. For just $299 a month Yelp would simply move the negative reviews away, so the companies have nothing to worry about anymore. Of course if the companies refused, Yelp made sure negative customer reviews appeared. This was only to encourage companies to make use of their service. (Richards, 2011)
Now you might think that is four years ago, something like that does not happen anymore. Well you think wrong. In 2014 a hotel fined a couple for £100 after they posted a negative review on Trip Advisor about this hotel (BBC, 2014). And in June 2015 an article in the Express wrote all about how negative reviews on Trip Advisor were disappearing. Due to removing these negative reviews the star rating went up from 3.5 to 4.5 stars out of five. (Virtue, 2015)
So why do companies rather delete negative reviews? Is it because companies still do not have the right strategies and tools to deal with negative reviews? Should academics be called to the rescue to provide companies with methods of how to deal with bad reviews?
I believe it is better if companies use negative reviews as learning goals. Instead of hiding, the negative reviews should be used for improvement. And after the company has changed or improved, they can post a comment to the customer, which shows they do actually care about their customers.
So what do you think companies should do with a negative customer review? And have you ever posted a negative review that got you into trouble?