Since the Internet is often the first and last place potential customers go to find out more about you, online reviews are serious stuff. Our clients often ask us what to do when they come across a less-than-spectacular review of their business. Our advice is to address them promptly and professionally.
Why Bother Handling The Haters?
A good online reputation is vital to the success of a small business because it directly impacts customer acquisition and revenue. According to the 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, nine out of 10 consumers have looked at reviews in the last 12 months to help them make a decision about a local business. This shows us the power of reviews and how they can positively or negatively affect your business, depending on the approach you choose to take.
Make Reviews Work For Your Business – Not Against It
It’s important to understand that people are not looking for perfection online. Having nothing but glowing reviews may make readers wonder if your reviews are legitimate, but too many negative reviews or comments are going to create a problem for your business. I know it seems confusing, but an adverse online review can actually be good for your business.
If handled correctly, a negative review can:
Give you a chance to improve the situation
Allow you to change this customer’s perspective for the better
Learn from and build goodwill with a vocal customer
Help minimize damage to potential future customers
Add legitimacy to your positive reviews
Show people the kind of professional ethics that guide your business
Turn the criticism around by highlighting your strengths
Prospective customers expect to see some negative reviews, but they also need to be assured that they will not have the same experience and that they would be taken care of if anything does go wrong. By replying quickly and posting your response beneath the original review, future customers will see that you care about your patrons and actively work to improve your business.
Customer Comments = Powerful Insights
When a client chooses to share an experience online, it gives your company the chance to hear unbiased feedback. Try to use each negative review as a chance to learn something new. Take advantage of the negative feedback as an opportunity to engage in a constructive way your client base.
Successful business people learn from negative reviews, improve their business if need be, and then move on. By noticing patterns and addressing concerns to improve your client experience, you will be on the right path to bringing new customers to your door and having past customers return.