In today’s digital age, online reviews have become a powerful tool for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. According to a 2021 report by Power Reviews, over 99.9% of customers read reviews when shopping online—and 96% of customers specifically look for negative reviews. As a result, negative reviews can significantly impact a company’s reputation, leading to lost business and decreased revenue.
Like any large company that’s been around for over 40 years, GL Homes has dealt with negative reviews. People complain for a variety of reasons, so having one simple fix that works in any industry is hard.
However, responding to negative reviews appropriately makes a big difference in regaining trust and combating these issues. Learning from constructive feedback has only strengthened their brand. Other companies can experience the same.
Why Responding to Negative Reviews Matters
How a company responds to negative reviews can make or break its reputation. Ignoring negative feedback can signal to customers that a company doesn’t care about them or their feedback. This can snowball into bigger and bigger issues, as others might join in and voice any negativity to add fuel to the fire.
Responding to negative reviews thoughtfully and respectfully can show potential customers that a company takes its customer service seriously. They remain committed to improving the customer experience. Companies need to ensure that their responses are well thought out and address the situation, rather than creating excuses.
GL Homes responds to negative reviews as much as possible. In GL Homes’ industry, satisfied customers are particularly invested when considering all the money they put into a new home. People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars—if not millions—on a place they call home. If there’s any negative feedback, GL Homes is then addressing specific problems and being prompt with solutions.
Some reviews deserve a public response and a more detailed personal response. Encouraging people to update their negative responses if satisfied after fixes can help strengthen a company’s reputation.
Studies have shown that responding to negative reviews can positively impact a company’s reputation. According to a study by Review Trackers, 45% of customers are more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews. Additionally, 70% of customers say that a company’s response to a review influences their perception of a company.
Responses do a great job of giving people first impressions if they’ve never heard about GL Homes in the first place. Since the company only works in Florida, many people relocating conduct initial research knowing very little about the Sunshine State. If only negative reviews with no responses pop up, they will put a lot of doubt in any buyer’s mind.
The Psychology Behind Negative and Positive Reviews
There are several reasons people leave negative reviews online. The most common is a negative experience with a product or service. No company experiences 100% positive feedback, and genuine negative reviews have merit.
However, some customers may leave negative reviews simply because they had unrealistic expectations or were having a bad day. Others may leave negative reviews to vent their frustrations or get revenge if they feel wronged. That doesn’t mean companies should ignore them. However, coming up with a thoughtful response takes time and effort.
GL Homes has learned over the years that negative reviews accompany success. Even after their negative review is addressed, some reviewers remain unsatisfied. People push for more and more to get everything fixed, but there comes a point when unrealistic expectations make it impossible to satisfy the unhappy customer.
People leave positive reviews for various reasons. It could be due to exceptional customer service, high-quality products or services, or a positive overall experience. Positive reviews can also be a way for customers to express gratitude, especially in industries where tipping isn’t the norm.
Generally speaking, businesses need help to land genuine positive reviews. People feel like they need to take action if they’re wronged, but if they have a positive experience, it’s not noteworthy because that’s what they expected.
Combating Negative Reviews Online
How can companies combat negative reviews online? The first step is to monitor review sites and social media platforms for negative feedback. This will allow companies to respond to negative reviews quickly and address any issues that customers may have. It’s also important to respond to reviews thoughtfully and respectfully, acknowledging the customer’s concerns and offering a solution if possible.
GL Homes understands that time is limited for combating negative reviews. People don’t want to wait days, weeks, or even months to get something fixed that they feel needs attention. Being on top of negative reviews and finding a solution makes a difference to all parties involved.
Companies can also encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to help offset negative feedback. This can be accomplished by sending follow-up emails after a purchase or offering incentives for leaving a review. However, avoid offering incentives for positive reviews, as some can see this as an unethical and scam my way to accumulate reviews.
Companies can also address the customer experience to prevent negative reviews in the first place. This can be done by training staff to provide exceptional customer service, improving product quality, and addressing customer issues before they become a bigger problem. If negative reviews zero in on a particular part of the business, that’s a great place to start.
Learning from past negative reviews can elevate a company. GL Homes has fixed some of their practices for which they received negative feedback. It shows that even companies that have been around for decades will evolve and figure out more satisfying methods.
Turning a Negative into a Positive
Any business receiving negative reviews can instantly feel like it is in trouble. Online reviews are out there for everyone to see, and some of them can get nasty depending on the reviewer’s mood.
Treating a negative review like any in-person customer complaint involves staying level-headed, providing a thoughtful response, and giving some type of solution to remedy the situation. GL Homes works with a customer to get their home just right, and then they will encourage the customer to update their review once completed.
In an ideal world, only positive reviews would exist for a company. However, if negative reviews are solved and fixed, negatives can be turned into positives. It’s unrealistic for companies to have a perfect record with customer reviews, but handling them professionally can rebuild trust and satisfaction.