Have you ever noticed a negative review that kept you up at night suddenly change to positive (or just disappear) after you take the time to craft a perfect response?
That’s at least the dream scenario for any business owner.
Having a few negative reviews peppering your pages is nothing to be afraid of, but in the long run, they can hurt your brand’s reputation, customer retention and search engine optimization. Ideally, you want to wow your negative customers and convince them to edit their reviews—but what exactly does this mean for your business? How and when do customers edit reviews—and (gasp) what happens if a customer suddenly changes their positive review? Is anything safe?
First off, what makes customers change their reviews?
Why Customers Change Reviews
Each customer’s experience is different, but these are a few possibilities:
- The company left a great response to their review—and they felt the need to change it.
- Their perspective changed after a new experience with the company.
- They were using their review as a journal to track an experience with the company.
Now, let’s explore ways to manage—and influence—these changes.
5 Helpful Tips for Managing Review Changes
1. When you receive a review, don’t assume it’s written in stone.
Those negative reviews aren’t necessarily there to stay forever! 56 percent of customers say a company’s response to a review changed their perspective on that business. Many customers change their negative review once receiving a satisfactory response or having their concerns resolved.
So don’t assume the customer will always view your company the way they do in the first version of their review. Some reviewers treat reviews as living documents they come back to edit as a situation—such as a negative customer service experience—evolves. Some reviewers might keep their original review but add “EDIT” to a new section. Others might rewrite the review entirely.
2. Most customers are reasonable and willing to be won back.
Your business has the power to change the mind of a negative reviewer and give them a reason to edit their review. These review writers are mostly reasonable human beings (except the many bots writing fake reviews, of course) and usually are simply providing what they see as constructive feedback, or they’re sharing their experiences. If your business addresses their concerns or resolves an issue, it’s likely they’ll be willing to edit.
3. Don’t ask customers to edit their reviews without showing why they should.
Imagine being hounded by a company to change your negative review immediately after you leave it—it’s not a great look!
Make sure your company has done its due diligence to fix the situation, replied explaining why and how you’ve done so (and how you’ll improve in the future)—and only then consider reaching out personally to the customer to request they edit their review (preferably only after you receive a positive reply from them).
This is a delicate situation since customers, once satisfied, often walk away without giving a second thought to the negative review they left. However, they may be willing to edit it once asked. On the flip side, some may find a request unseemly. If you do decide to ask, phrase it delicately—“We are so sorry for what happened and are glad we were able to figure out a solution. If you’re willing, we’d appreciate an updated review, but no worries if not.”
Also, be careful to never incentivize a review edit, as this goes against most review platforms’ guidelines.
4. Not every review will change.
While it’s a good idea to reply to every review you receive, some negative reviews may be wasted breath on your company’s part, at least when it comes to requesting an edit.
Review writers leaving constructive criticism mixed in with praise are prime candidates for future review editing, while someone leaving a negative wall of text may not be worth the effort (and you might want to just flag their review for takedown). All you can do at the end of the day is take negative feedback into consideration, reply effectively and keep doing great business
5. Don’t stay up worrying about customers changing positive reviews to negative.
Although this is certainly possible, there isn’t much data showing that this happens often. Your model reviews are likely safe. Most customers who go out of their way to write a positive review will likely keep the memory of that great experience and keep their review up.
Worst case scenario, if a positive reviewer does edit their review to add a negative sentiment, you’ll know that insight is trustworthy—and that there’s a great chance your company can once again change their mind.
Can You Convince Customers to Change Negative Reviews?
Your business can always improve, and constructive negative reviews are proof of this. Many of these reviews offer insight into what your customers really want. Engaging with them gives you a chance to interact with customers in a new way, and prove to them—and any potential customers reading along—that you’re willing to keep doing better.
When Your Reviews Change, Let Us Respond Can Help
Let Us Respond helps companies put their goal of changing customers’ minds into writing. Our team of review response experts communicates with customers so that business owners and company executives can spend time improving their companies.
We work hard to reply in ways that change minds—and encourage those negative reviews to mysteriously change for the better. Book your free online review response consultation today.