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The biggest reasons customers complain and how to stay above it

(BUSINESS NEWS) Its common knowledge that people leave bad reviews online, but why? Here are the top 10 reasons why people write negative reviews online and ways your company can stay above it.

irs reasons

Womp womp

Bad online reviews can tank your businesses, or at the very least, kind of hurt your feelings. No one wants to find out their company let someone down.

Whether it was a faulty product or poor customer service, it’s not very fun to read bad reviews about yourself.

Survey says

A recent survey from Corra looked into major reasons customers complain and leave reviews for businesses. Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of one to five how likely they would be to complain about specific events. Here’s a breakdown of the top ten reasons customers are compelled to complain according to the survey.


10. Bad service from an online retailer
9. Bad service at a restaurant
8. Bad service at a hospitality-focused business, like hotels or amusement parks
7. Stores not accepting returns
6. Receiving poor quality or damage clothing from online retailer.
5. When airlines lose luggage
4. Product doesn’t meet description
3. Rude/dismissive customer service
2. Hidden fees
1. Faulty product

Grain of salt

Almost 90 percent of respondents said they have avoided businesses specifically because of bad reviews. Yes, online reviews should be approached with some skepticism.

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When people are upset, they’re likelier to post scathing reviews that don’t tell every side of the situation.

Regardless, many potential customers utilize reviews to judge if they want to use your services.

People pay attention to negative reviews even if they know one person’s experience is not necessarily indicative of the whole scope of a business.

It’s important to hear out your customers, and take into account what they’re saying. One bad review (for the most part) doesn’t mean everyone is jumping ship on your business.

Glimmer of hope

According to the survey, most people were willing to give brands a second chance in the event of a mishap.

Only ten percent said they’d be off a business for good if something goes wrong.

If you’re receiving negative reviews, try to spot trends. Are people mostly complaining about faulty products? Or are they upset about an employee being rude to them?

Reason for reviews

Most say they leave reviews in hopes of helping others avoid similar situations. About half of the respondents said they want to make companies aware of how their policies affect customers, and hope to invoke change.

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Nearly half of the respondents also said they wanted to gain a refund.

Service industry, serve-us industry

Although the tools to help customers have changed, the core need remains the same. Customers want service that meets or exceeds their expectations.

This means a good customer service experience, products that are functional, and clear, fair policies.

When these needs are not being met, customers want to be heard.

It is literally your job to listen.

Or maybe not specifically you, but whoever is in charge of PR. Regardless, online reviews—even if some are totally ridiculous—give insight into your customer’s experience with your business and products.

Not trying to ruin you

Most survey respondents aren’t looking to ruin your reputation. They’re just trying to help out other potential customers. Reviews are a great way to find out how to get on their side. Address the problems and explain how you’re going to make it better for them and other customers in the future.

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Maybe you really should disclose that extra fee up front. Or perhaps the staff needs to be retrained in some customer service aspects. Let customers know you’re listening to them and want to help. Check out the full report here for further analysis into why customers complain.

Written By

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

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