By: Marlene Cosain
Considering the digital era we are in, the Internet is quickly replacing word-of-mouth reviews. More and more consumers are turning to online reviews for concise opinions and experiences with a service or product. Through pages like Yelp, Google reviews, Angie’s List or your company’s social media page, past experiences with your company are becoming extremely accessible. Noted on forbes.com, social media expert, Brian Solis stated, “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
For this reason, it is critical to be aware and keep track of the positive and negative reviews that are posted about your company.
During a recent survey conducted by searchengineland.com , 88% of consumers admitted that they trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. Moreover, 9 out of 10 consumers have used online reviews to understand the quality and reliability of a business. This is why it is best to encourage your clients to provide positive feedback.
Catalyze positive online reviews by simply asking for them and make sure to make it easy for current clients to tell the Internet world about their positive experiences. In addition, offer discount codes or incentives of this sort here and there to thank those who lend you a hand.
For example, when a client provides positive feedback in person or via email, mention that it would be of great value to your company if their input was posted on the site of their choice. Consumers know the importance of your online reputation; therefore, more than likely they will engage in the system. When asking via email, it is also helpful if you include direct links to different review sites that way leaving feedback is more convenient for them. Also, you can follow-up by sending a 10% discount on their next purchase. Make sure to offer this after they posted the review so it is taken as a token of appreciation not a bribe.
If your company’s reviews lean towards the negative side, these reviews can be the deciding factor for many potential customers. Often times, negative experiences that are accessible to the public can negate the positive reputation your company holds. It is critical to know how to handle and respond to negative reviews.
Take the time to respond to a client’s dissatisfaction. As opposed to letting past clients rule against you, it is a good idea to respond quickly to harmful reviews. Many business owners assume that “no response is the best response,” but this is not true. It is important to engage and handle constructive criticism appropriately. Strive to look through reviews weekly or twice a month. By responding, you can take the necessary steps to resolve a common issue that will result in a better experience for your clients, thus, improving your online profile. Not only does this show that you care about your clients, but it also clears the air.
Turn a Negative into a Positive
Look at negative comments as an opportunity to show how strong your customer service is. First, make sure you are level-headed. One of the worst things you can do is respond to criticism in a way that will make your company look bad. Take a breath and carefully create a well-mannered response. Second, take time to acknowledge their experience. Thank them for their input, and then proceed to addressing the issue in a polite manner.
As the digital era is only expanding, it is vital to be aware of the reviews that are posted about your company. Make sure to be up-to-date with your company’s online reputation, encourage positive feedback, and know how to respond suitably.