• 1/3 say they’re more likely to post a negative review while in a bad mood.
  • 35% say they would more likely post a negative review about a large company than a smaller business.
  • Infographic included.

We’re all familiar with the feeling of immeasurable frustration that arises after receiving poor service from a restaurant, retail shop, grocery store or online business. With technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to share our negative experiences and reviews almost instantaneously with other potential customers, sometimes without thinking about the impact it may have on the business. For those businesses that were forced to close their doors during strict lockdowns across the country, a negative review could be even more detrimental during this time.

GearHungry.com, the leading resource for reviews in men’s gear, gadgets, and gifts, conducted a survey of 3,140 respondents and found that almost half of Maryland online shoppers (47%) admit they have had review regrets after posting a negative complaint about a business or service online (compared to a national average of 18%). Considering the internet has the ability to rapidly make reviews go viral, posting them could have serious financial implications, especially during an already economically challenging period during the pandemic.

GearHungry.com created this infographic illustrating review regret across the country.

When you’re having one of those days where everything is going wrong, poor service can heighten your frustration tenfold. Perhaps this explains why more than a third of people (37%) say they’re more likely to post a negative review when they’re in a bad mood or having a bad day in general.

We’ve heard the saying ‘think before you speak’ but in a modern world, this could be interpreted as ‘think before you type’. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of people say they post negative reviews immediately after writing them, without thinking about the potential consequences. A poor service experience could occur on one of your bad days, resulting in an outburst of anger and subsequent negative review. However, you may find yourself reconsidering the harshness of a review a few minutes later, regretting the ‘post now’ option on social media.

Encouragingly though, it seems many are aware of the damage that could be done to a business’ reputation – especially for a small business with an insufficient crisis management team. Over 1 in 3 (35%) people say they are more likely to post a negative review about a larger company than a smaller business. Many large consumer-facing companies, such as franchises or chain stores, are less likely to be detrimentally affected by negative online reviews as they have well-established mass consumer bases, who have built up their brand loyalty over the years. Comparatively, for a smaller business trying to build their brand reputation, a harsh review might have a more drastic impact on their customer base.

“Of course, when spending your hard-earned dollars, you naturally want to receive the best possible products and/or service your money can buy,” says Seiji Ishii of GearHungry.com. “If you’re feeling exceptionally frustrated with a service or retail provider and are inclined to share your negative experience online, make sure it’s clearly expressed in a way that dictates information factually and accurately so as to avoid any miscommunication. Don’t forget to think before you post so as not to have review regret a few minutes after hitting ‘send’!”

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