Reviews are one of the most powerful forms of marketing because they’re peer-to-peer endorsements coming from friends and family who have had firsthand experience with the company’s products or services. Whether it’s a good experience or a bad experience this form of marketing is the most authentic and trusted by the audience.
The article talks about how essential positive reviews are for businesses. It explains what negative online reviews mean and what to do when you get them. Also, it looks through some ways to make gathering customer feedback easier.
Power of online reviews
Reviews are a great way to spread the word about a company for free. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews before making a purchase or hiring a service professional.
How to search for online reviews
In order to find online reviews for a business, one can use a number of websites. One of the most popular sites for finding reviews is Google, which provides a review option to any business localized on their maps. People leave feedback and ratings after using or purchasing any company’s product or service and it will be displayed for all who visit the maps to read and see.
Social media reviews
One type of review that’s becoming more and more popular is the social media review. Reviews on sites like Yelp are known to be biased, with special deals for advertising, so people are turning to social media instead. Sites like Facebook allow users to post their thoughts about a company on their public profile – think of it as a “public business card” – which can be seen by anyone who has access to the site, not just friends or family members who have had firsthand experience with the company.
One of the best ways to solicit feedback for your company is to use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google+, Linkedin, YouTube, etc. Many free tools allow you to monitor your reputation online on these sites. You can also encourage your customers to leave reviews for you on these sites as well.
Sentiment Analysis is helpful for businesses because it can help them understand what their customers are saying about them and how they feel about their products and services. If a customer has a positive experience then that is likely to be reflected in their review or feedback. Whereas if they have had a bad experience then this will also be evident in their feedback. This information can then be used by the business to improve on any issues that may arise and/or to try and increase the percentage of customers who have good experiences with the product or service which would, in turn, increase profit margins.
Using sentiment analysis software, a company can collect every review, no matter on which website it’s posted. You don’t have to google yourself and manually look through every website, it has all the information in one place. It also helps determine if the overall reputation of the company is positive or negative. You can face a crisis before it will do too much damage. Using tools like Brand24 saves time and money in the long run and it’s essential for building your brand.
Positive reviews are crucial to any business. Unfortunately, people are not eager to post them. If your service or product was perfect but didn’t surprise them in any way, they won’t be motivated to leave a positive opinion online. Do you remember when was the last time you left a positive review? That’s why it’s important to remind your customers to do so. If you have good products and services, it’s best to ask them for reviews via your website, social media properties or email. If you don’t have your website, you can ask your customers to write a review on Google when they are visiting your premises.
Negative online reviews can be extremely damaging to a business. A single negative review can deter people from trying your products and services. If somebody is considering ordering from you for the first time, they might give up and go somewhere else. People react emotionally when they are angry at something, so the reviews can be exaggerated. But not always, sometimes negative reviews can be constructive criticism. Instead of getting offended, you have to have a plan for how to handle such reviews.
What to do when the reviews are negative?
Even if your company seems flawless, it will happen, so it’s better to be prepared.
First, you have to evaluate the review. What could be done better? What lesson can you take from this feedback?
If somebody complains about the customer service, you have to find out who was on the other side of the line. Was it an inexperienced employee? If it’s a recurring problem, make sure that your employees are trained properly.
Negative reviews about your products or services can be more difficult to handle. You have to think objectively. What part of your product or service was not up to the standard? If there were several bad reviews about one particular thing, you should probably start working on it as soon as possible.
If the problem is something that you can fix, make it work. Don’t ignore bad reviews, they spread faster than good ones.
Sackcloth and Ashes
It is important to address any negativity head-on. Publicly apologize for the mistakes and state what steps you will take in order to improve yourself or your product/service. If you have a loyal fan base, ask them to help spread the message. Let them know that you don’t want this bad review to overshadow all of your positive experiences.
We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.
— Netflix (@netflix) August 20, 2020
What not to do when the reviews are negative?
Ignoring it won’t make it disappear, neither will setting up a fake profile and writing good comments about yourself. This is just digging a deeper hole for you to crawl out of.
Don’t panic or try to convince the customer they are wrong. It will not work and might make it even worse. Try to keep things short, don’t type too much explaining all the details, people won’t bother to read it. And try to end the conversation on a positive note and in a polite manner.
Negative reviews can be overwhelming, but if you stay calm, consider them constructively and take actions in order to make things better, they don’t have to be bad after all.
Power of Communication
Sometimes, even if the reviews are positive, it might be helpful to have a team member post a response to show customers that the staff is engaged and cares about their experience. You can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can at least thank people for taking the time to give feedback online. It’s a huge opportunity for social proof, and it will increase your business’ credibility on search engine results pages.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business or an enterprise, your reputation can make or break your business over time. Online reviews and word-of-mouth advertising are two ways to get feedback about what people like and don’t like about your company and its services from them directly. The more positive reviews you have, the more people will notice your company, and the more sales you’ll get.