Companies have always relied on word of mouth from satisfied customers to generate more business, and even as we come to rely more heavily on technology and the internet, this is still an important influencing factor on a company’s ability to succeed. With the event of online reviews, a customer’s opinion can now be known by a much wider pool of people than their friends and family. This means it’s crucial for businesses from all industries to deal with their online reviews in an appropriate, professional way.
According to research, the vast majority of people will check out online reviews before making the decision to use a company or not. Given this information, it seems obvious that positive reviews can really help to boost your company’s prospects, while negative ones can put people off. However, if you do receive a bad review, there are ways to deal with it and minimise the potential for damage.
A negative review is often the result of a misunderstanding or an issue that is easily resolved. By responding to the review in a polite, professional way and addressing the customer’s problem, you may find that they withdraw their bad review or respond positively, as they can see you have made an effort to provide quality customer service.
In fact, it’s advisable to respond to all of your reviews, not just the negative ones. This shows that you care about what your customers think and that you are taking their feedback on board, fostering a positive, proactive image for your business. This will help you to build up stronger relationships with your new and existing customers and encourage them to return to you in the future. As an added bonus, by taking in the feedback from your online reviews, you can develop a better understanding of what your customers want and expect from you and adjust your services accordingly to make improvements.
Online reviews can even boost your SEO campaign. When your company is being written about online and you have an active, frequently updates reviews page, major search engines will be more likely to reward the site with a higher placement. Your customers will essentially be contributing towards your marketing without you having to put much effort in, making online reviews one of the most valuable online tools a business can have.