The words “negative review” are ones you hope to not hear often or really ever if you can help it. While appealing to everyone is a goal for many with their product or service, it’s just not the case, and taking action when you do find negative feedback about you or your company is crucial. But first and foremost, what are online reviews and how do they work?
Online Reviews and How They Work
Online reviews are an individual’s opinion referring to the experience they’ve had with a brand, product, or service on any given website.
You’ve probably seen those iconic five little stars next to a recent purchase you made online. Usually golden in color, the little stars symbolize how trustworthy or effective a product, brand, or service is based on the number shaded in gold. Roughly 89% of consumers base their perception of the company or brand on those stars for purchases they want to make or services they may be looking for such as recommendations for doctors, dentists, electricians, and more.
With this amount of the population basing their feelings about products and services on reviews–positive or negative– it’s crucial to keep up to speed on what is being published. Taking action to combat the negative and show appreciation for the positive can be easily managed to increase your overall reputation.
Managing and Responding to Online Reviews
Who has time to go through every review ever posted about them or even know where to begin looking for reviews? News flash, YOU should be monitoring them! Simply allocating twenty to thirty minutes a day towards review management on platforms like Facebook, Google My Business, TrustPiolet, Yelp, and other high-traffic industry specific websites not only takes barely a fraction of the day, it could save you from having your entire reputation tanking.
There’s a wide variety of review management tools available on the web to help automate this process. You can find out more about the ones we like best by downloading our free guide on Online Review Management.
Diving into responding to the reviews you are seeing applies to both positive and negatively directed feedback. It’s important that people know you are there to hear out both sides of whatever experience they had to increase brand trust between consumers and your company. Responding to reviews with sensitivity and honesty shows the integrity of your business and a level of attentiveness that today’s consumers demand. Responding to reviews also improves your local SEO. The Google Local Rankings survey shows that reviews may account for over 15% of how Google ranks a business.
Giving a rapid response allows a business to acknowledge and recognize outstanding reviews and escalate any issues needing resolution online in an effort to reduce the amount of negative feedback response that was created.
By allowing yourself the time each day to go through and manage your reviews, you’re able to gain insight on improvements that need to be made. If there is no problem, then it’s a question of how you can take your business to the next level and maintain the positive reputation you’ve built through your dedication to what you offer.
Getting Customers to Write Online Reviews
Word-of-mouth is sure to provide you a steady stream of reviews quickly, but just as quickly as online reviews in this day and age. With social media and e-commerce platforms to dish out information on, it’s important to consider how you can increase the amount of reviews you get even if they do end up being negative.
There will always be a group of people ready to give their two cents about your product, you just have to find them. Good news is that you can get an abundance of online reviews fairly quickly by setting up an automated system to help drive the consumers you target through a purchase.
One of our favorite automated systems to use is email outreach. It’s a simple and effective way that you can somewhat set and forget once it’s formatted to do the job you set it up to do. Why make things harder on yourself than you already probably are when it comes to managing reviews.
What to Do with Negative Reviews
Negative reviews shouldn’t be seen as the worst thing to happen to your business. Easier said than taken, but it’s a fact. We don’t want to see or deal with the negative reviews we get because it might expose a weak point of our business or product. Instead of thinking it is horrible, take a second to learn on possible improvements you can make to bring your reviews up.
By responding to negative reviews, you’re taking the opportunity to regain trust and win back unhappy customers by making it a focus to resolve problems. In fact, 82% of consumers will actively seek out negative reviews, simply to read the interactions between reviewers and businesses.
It’s important to remember a couple of key points when responding to negative reviews by customers:
- Avoid being defensive and argumentative. This can only create further distrust and anger from an already upset customer.
- What you say can and will be used against you as if you were being tried by a judge and jury!
- Acknowledge your mistakes and defects upfront.
- Demonstrate your willingness to at least hear them out.
- Provide a solution that you will work on in the future.
If someone is taking the time to write out a review, regardless of the nature, it’s important to feed them a response that feels like they’ve been heard to build trust, form resolution, and be openly honest. Creating and maintaining a trusting relationship with the majority of your customers should be a priority especially those that feel badly about their experience.
Holding tight to positive feedback is like wearing rose-colored glasses if that is all you are responding to. Just as you have to walk a fine line between completely avoiding negative feedback and responding to it assertively, you likewise need to view positive feedback in the same light.
One way businesses use positive reviews to their advantage is by increasing the amount of positive sentiment to bury the negative. You can easily forget that responding to positive reviews is just as crucial as negative because it looks good as is, right? Wrong!
Think of those individuals who view your brand and product as your very own advocates. Invested followers of your business are likely to have purchased your product, used it, and if they are writing good reviews, they LOVE it.
Show your appreciation for what they have to say, even if it is short and sweet, it still drives home the fact that you care about your customers and what they have to say. Positive dialogue is the most important dialogue you can obtain across the board.
How do brands get positive reviews? Simply by reaching out to their audiences whether on social media, by email, or by text message to do just that: “Let us know what YOU think!” Some even provide a deal for those who leave a comment or review of their product.
You can increase the amount of positive reviews by a variety of methods such as:
- Target people who need your product the most, because they’ll be the most satisfied.
- Under-promise and over-deliver to increase customer satisfaction.
- Convert negative reviews to positive ones with engagement and problem-solving.
- If you’re a B2B business, provide a positive review for their product or service first.
Who to reach out to for Online Review Management
Online reviews and their tone can shape your entire business reputation both on and off the web. You’ve got the basics to successfully manage online reviews and build trust with your customers by keeping in mind the tips and information we shared with you above. But while it is easy for some businesses to maintain their online reputation and reviews, it can be overwhelming or even a full-time job for others that they just aren’t ready to take on.
If that is the case, it’s time to find someone to help you automate your review response process or hire a team dedicated and experienced in maintaining brand presence online. Reputation Rhino is the world’s leading online reputation management company. We have the reputation management tools, the experience, and the know-how to make online reviews work for you.