INSTANT MBA: Bad Reviews Can Boost Business In A Big Way

Matt McCormick

Photo: New York Times

Today’s advice comes from Matt McCormick, owner of JCD Repair, via the New York Times:“Someone could make an argument that if you have an unhappy customer, it would be bad to do what we do — point them at review sites…But in all honesty, a bad review here and there not only helps you look more credible, it can also give you very valuable feedback on what you’re doing wrong. Lastly, it also gives you a chance to set the situation right with the customer.”

In today’s world, where social media reigns, following up with customers and directing them to web sites where they can write business reviews after sales can be a win-win situation. McCormick, the owner of an iPod, iPad, and Android repair shop, sends all customers a follow-up e-mail two weeks after a sale to make sure they’re not experiencing problems with their devices, and to encourage them to review their experience at JCD. 

This practice of garnering reviews can help a company’s credibility, thereby generating new business. According to the Times article, there are also unintended consequences of this practice. When an employee knows that a customer will likely write a review, he or she may think twice about the service provided during the initial sale. 

Even bad reviews have merit; with this knowledge, a company knows when a customer is dissatisfied and can work to address his or her grievance. Moreover, receiving criticism helps a company recognise its weaknesses and change its practices accordingly. 

Judging by McCormick’s experience, people are willing to write reviews for exceptional service. Said the store owner, “it’s really amazing how many people click those links and write reviews.”

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