22 Mar 2018 Business Digital

The Benefits of Responding to Negative Reviews Online

Miranda Carney
Miranda Carney
Content Marketing Editor

Before eating somewhere new, you probably check the restaurant’s ratings on Yelp or TripAdvisor. Almost all consumers – 97 percent – check online reviews sites for just about anything they spend money or time on. In fact, online consumer feedback is crucial for any business; 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Recovery Brands’ websites – such as and – gather first-hand reviews from alumni who have attended a substance abuse treatment center, along with their loved ones and the facility’s staff members.

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User reviews can make an essential difference to both treatment facilities and consumers.

While every website’s vetting process is different, Recovery Brands’ user reviews are vetted and checked to ensure each is valid and unique. While the quality assurance process is intensive, Recovery Brands does not remove or edit negative reviews upon request or for payment. In fact, removing negative user reviews can actually reflect poorly on your facility. Potential consumers would much rather see honesty than feel negative reviews are omitted.

What are the benefits of responding to reviews?

Many studies point to the fact that responding to user reviews online improves performance. A 2016 study by Cornell University found that responding to reviews led to increased sales and revenue. And not responding to reviews can cause the opposite – a decrease in performance.

It is also important to note that responding to negative reviews could potentially decrease the number of negative reviews you receive. When people feel like someone is listening, they behave differently, according to findings in a study by Marketing Science. “They might think twice before leaving a negative review because they don’t want to cause a confrontation for a small problem,” said Georgios Zervas, the author of the study.

How should facilities respond to negative reviews?

Negative (and positive) reviews present an opportunity for facilities to engage. Recovery Brands websites allow for treatment centers to directly respond to user reviews through an Official Facility Response form, located on the bottom of each user review. Facility responses must be submitted using a verified facility-specific email address and will be vetted to assure content addresses the user review.

Below is a real example of a facility’s response to a negative user review:

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This facility also responds to positive user reviews:

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The facility not only acknowledges the consumer’s feedback, but they offer sincerity and actionable advice.

How else can a facility improve its reputation?

A key part of responding to online reviews is having online reviews. It is crucial to gather more user reviews by encouraging alumni to leave responses. Our user review surveys are located here. In 2017, consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business – up from six in 2016. Almost half of all consumers need to see at least 10 reviews before trusting the average star rating. So while a few user reviews are better than none, more reviews will lead consumers to develop more trust in your facility.

Not sure how to start managing your online reputation? We can help.

The importance of responding to user feedback extends to social media as well, and managing so many reviews on so many different platforms can be overwhelming. Recovery Brands has someone on staff to walk you through the best ways to respond to user reviews on a variety of different platforms, including Yelp, Facebook, Glassdoor, and more. Check back next week for a Q&A with our reputation management assistant, Whitney Salamone.


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