A person with a grudge against a company has a great deal of power today, especially if they have a legitimate gripe and they articulate their complaint well. One negative review is damaging to a new business, especially when the owners are too busy building their brand to monitor their online reputation. When the Huffington Post featured an article about how one reviewer can take down a company, they did not mention that consumers are suspicious of a brand with all glowing reviews and not one complaint.
The average Joe can hurt a brand new restaurant, for example, with a negative review about the food, the prices or the service, because this review will keep other customers, who may have left a flattering review, away. While it is true that the majority of consumers use online reviews in their purchasing decisions, one unsatisfactory review out of twenty excellent reviews won’t hurt the average business, therefore it is essential for businesses to ask customers to share their experience with others online.
There is one way that the average Joe’s poor review may affect even a noted business; consumers will look for the same fault if they choose to patronize the business after reading the negative review. For example, a customer who complains about the lackadaisical service in a restaurant will have the next customers take note of how swiftly they received their meal, even if they were not in a hurry. Once consumers read a specific complaint in a review, the business has to ensure that the mistake is never repeated by providing faster than expected service. In this way, the average Joe has the power to both make or break a new business and improve established business.