It’s no secret that the internet has changed the way customers make decisions about what products and services to buy. Prior to the internet, most people would rely on word of mouth from their friends and colleagues when choosing a company or tradesperson they could trust to deliver their required service at a fair price. Today, the goal is the same – price, quality and trust are still important factors to consider but instead of our friends and family, we’re putting our faith in online reviews to tell us where to shop. In fact, a whopping 93% of consumers say online reviews affect their purchasing decisions with 72% of consumers failing to take action until they have read reviews.
For businesses, receiving positive reviews is always uplifting but, receiving negative ones is never easy and can, quite frankly ruin our whole week. However, it’s important not to let the risk of a bad review put you off completely as there are lots of positive opportunities to be had from a bad review and it is often easy to turn a negative review into a positive, and even benefit your business. Negative reviews are able to help you humanise your brand and show customers that you are a real, genuine human being and not just a detached business with zero room for improvement.
It is the way you handle your reviews that counts…
It’s often not the review itself that will cause damage but the way you deal with it that counts. If you follow these simple rules, you will likely have a happy customer coming your way again soon…
- Respond as fast as you can. Don’t allow the customer to fester on their feelings or allow them time to spread their feelings across their social media and other review sites. Address the complaint quickly so they (and others) can see how you handle the situation.
- Thank customers for their feedback. All feedback is valuable to your business, particularly the negative elements. Constructive criticism can really help you improve your business. Acknowledge their concerns and let them know you are committed to resolving the issue. Ending the conversation on a high note may well turn your unhappy customer into a loyal one.
- Show that you care. We all liked to be listened too and listening to customers is no different. It shows us your business cares and helps build trust and loyalty.
- Keep it short and sweet. Once you have thanked your customer for their feedback, take your conversation offline as soon as you can. There’s no need for other customers to see additional comments between you.
Remember, don’t fester on the negative, why not focus on creating more positive customer experiences instead? If you need help, enlist the help of a local SEO specialist to help you reach out to your customers and help you build up your reputation.