The Impact of Negative Social Media Reviews on Businesses
Impact of Social Media Reviews
We live in a social media-driven market where individuals flock to the latest viral trend or online phenomena. The rise of social media apps such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat has enabled content to spread and large groups of people at ever-accelerating rates. It is critical for managers to be aware of these trends, particularly of negative content or reviews related to their businesses. Negative content shared on these platforms can influence a wide basis of consumers, damaging a business’s reputation in ways that are imperceptible to management.
Research has also shown that negative online reviews have far more influence over a consumer’s decision than positive reviews. A one-star increase on an online Yelp review may result in a five to nine percent increase in revenue. In contrast, a single negative online review could result in a loss of thirty customers.
A recent survey indicated that 86% of customers hesitate to buy from a company after reading negative online reviews. Companies must constantly strive to maintain positive environments and experiences for their customers to prevent these negative reviews (Rudolph, 2015).
Impact of Dirty Restroom
One particular area that has a surprisingly significant effect on the guest experience is the restroom. A study by Christine Whittemore (2017) found that 75% of Americans would not return to a restaurant with dirty bathrooms, and 86% of Americans equate the cleanliness of a restaurant’s restroom with the kitchen’s cleanliness. By providing clean restrooms, businesses are communicating to consumers that the company has high-quality standards and does not mind investing in things that benefit their customers.
On the other hand, dirty restrooms (and particularly toilets) leave guests with an immensely negative impression of a business, communicating that management does not care about their experience. The Harris Poll found that three in four Americans wrote in online reviews that cleanliness was the top restroom-related issue. Furthermore, consumers reported that negative online reviews about restroom cleanliness would deter them from visiting a restaurant or hotel (Negative Restroom Reviews, 2018).
Solutions to Prevent Negative Reviews
Two measures companies can take to prevent and resolve negative reviews are providing more training to assist employees in handling complaints and implementing a mess prevention system in their restrooms. If a customer has an issue, they often express their concern to an employee; only when the employee’s response is insufficient does the problem result in a negative online review.
Firms should actively train employees to address guest dissatisfaction, fixing issues before they ever result in a negative online review. One such approach is teaching employees to speak to customers in a genuine, authentic way that makes them feel like the business appreciates their concerns. Suppose the customer is unsatisfied even after an employee has tried to resolve their issue, and they still decide to leave a negative online review. In this situation, the company can confidently respond to the review, stating the necessary steps that were taken to resolve the issue, even if the consumer is still upset. A response to a negative review shows current and future customers that customer satisfaction is the company’s goal.
Another measure to prevent negative reviews, specifically about dirty restrooms, is implementing Cleana self-lifting toilet seats in bathrooms. Cleana is a self-lifting toilet that prevents toilet messes before they occur. When users are ready to use the toilet, they pull down an antimicrobial handle to sit; when finished, the seat automatically lifts for the next user. This mechanism counters messes that typically occur when users fail to raise the toilet seat before urinating. Cleana is built to last more than five years without servicing, reduces total cleaning time, and is installed exactly like a standard commercial toilet seat.
Cleana Self-Lifting Toilet Seat