Customer reviews are the lifeblood of any good online marketing strategy. You, as a business owner, can say all the wonderful things your customers want to hear however, there is an obvious bias there. It’s your business, of course YOU think it is wonderful. What does everyone else think?
This is where reviews come in. Reviews let the customer get a, hopefully, unbiased opinion on your service or product from real people who’ve had experience with it. Peer reviews are seen as more trustworthy and honest than published content.
- 92% of consumers read online reviews *
- 88% of consumers trust a review as much as a personal recommendation *
- 90% of consumers said their choice was influenced by positive reviews **
- 86% say their choice has been affected by negative reviews **
So as we can see it is very important for customers to not only see what you have to say but also what others have to say. You want to encourage your customers to give you reviews right away. Many customers understand that reviews are the lifeblood of an online business. If they had a pleasant experience with your product/service most people will not have a problem leaving a review. For more information on how to start building your online review network check out this article.
How do we manage this?
Well there are many different ways to manage your online reviews. Tools such as Review Push, Review Tracker, and Chat Meter are all good paid tools that will help you manage your reviews on various websites. For a small-to-medium business however, these are not absolutely necessary. By claiming your business on Yelp, Google, and other business listing websites you are able to monitor and respond to individuals; Whether that be thanking them for a five-star rating or responding, gently, to negative reviews. The ability to respond to criticism can go a long way to boost your business profile. A company that takes criticism as a chance to improve, apologize, and move on will be taken better than a company that either does not respond to negative reviews or becomes argumentative.
Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews
- Be polite and courteous
- Do not become argumentative
- Be sincere when offering an apology
- Offer to talk offline to rectify the situation
- Take the criticism as a chance to improve
Users who see a well worded response that owns up to past mistakes gives a positive impression. It tells the user that “OK they realized that they did something wrong but took the steps to correct it” and “if I am not satisfied with their service then they will take the same steps to make me happy”. The idea that they will be able taken care of if they are unhappy with your service adds another level of security for them. You never know it may even push them over the edge from a potential customer to an actual customer.
By encouraging customers to leave reviews, monitoring, and responding appropriately you can create unprecedented value for your brand online.
If you would like some help with your online review plan please contact us at 604-628-2403.