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10 December 2021
Brands need to better manage negative online experiences
Customer relationship managementUnited Kingdom
Four in ten people in Britain feel firms are less likely to acknowledge and apologise online for negative experiences, compared to a year ago, according to new research.
Why it matters
An underreported aspect of the pandemic-induced pivot to digital has been the accompanying increase in online interactions between consumers and brands, especially in the area of reviews and feedback.
Feefo, the insights and reviews platform, surveyed 2,000 British consumers for its Navigating the Negative report, and found that those brands which value, engage and act upon customer feedback after proactively requesting the opinions of their customers are gaining a significant advantage over their competitors.
When people encounter a product or service with few or no negative online reviews, 32% delay their purchase; a further 22% say they’re suspicious about whether they can trust any of the reviews.
A quarter (26%) say they actively seek out negative reviews first; 69% say they continue their purchase if the review has been acknowledged and responded to effectively.
Nearly half (44%) of those happy with how a brand has responded to their negative review say they went on to use the business again; 40% recommended the brand on social media; and a quarter raved about it to friends and family.
In contrast, 58% of those unhappy with a response to their review refused to buy from the firm again, or criticised the brand publicly on social media (26%) or even across the wider news media (15%).
Providing a solution and offering a speedy response – or failing to do so – are the top actions creating both advocates and detractors.
“People know that firms can’t get it right every time: what they’re looking for is evidence that any issues are dealt with effectively” – Wendy Dignan, psychologist.