Online customer reviews can make or break your business. Entrepreneurs find it a priority to learn to react to people’s feedback, both positive and negative.
The owner of EssayPro (an essay writing service that provides students with academic papers of all kinds) says, “Reviews can considerably affect the business’s reputation. At the same time, it can be truly eye-opening.” He finds it important to read the reviews, respond to the customers, and tells that the below techniques of dealing with the issue “have proven effective”.
These stats show their significance. 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses posted on websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Twitter. 85% of people trust them. Before making a purchase decision, they read an average of 7 reviews. 17% of consumers are becoming less likely to visit business’s website after reading a negative comment.
So, let’s learn to deal with positive and negative feedback!
Managing Positive Feedback
Responding to satisfied customers often remains sidelined as entrepreneurs tend to focus on damage control for customer complaints. Yet attracting people who already enjoy your products or services is the perfect way to build a loyal following and a powerful referral network.
1. Reinforce the positive
What did the reviewer like best about their experience with your company? Agree with them and mention the behind-the-scenes reasons they had a great customer service. Thus, you can build buzz about your business and brand name. Even more, you can promote other product, service, or feature being offered, just like Amy’s Restaurant did in the below response.
2. Share customer success with the team
Good reviews build a positive online reputation. And it also gives a strong motivation for your employees.
Recognize the staff. Agree with the reviewer and praise a specific worker. It will make other readers want to check his or her skills for themselves! Check out how Signature Kitchen and Bath Design mentions a happy team of employees dedicated to customer success.
3. Say “thank you”
Always be grateful to those who leave reviews. It doesn’t matter whether they are positive or negative. Show appreciation for the fact that people take to share their thoughts with you. This way, your regular and potential customers see that your company values frank feedback and that the consumer opinion is important to it.
Personalize your response. Use first names. Thank your consumers for something specific they wrote. Don’t forget to add your name to the bottom of your reply to demonstrates that you are personally dealing with their feedback.
Managing Negative Feedback
It is never encouraging to get complaints about unprofessional customer service. But they are not necessarily going to cause trouble for your business. If you deal with the situation gracefully, it can mitigate the effects of the negative review in the eyes of your prospective guests.
Marketing expert from EssayPro Andrew Williams says: “There’s no way around it: negative reviews happen. Our essay writers work hard to make our clients happy. Seeing someone make critical remarks about our paper writing service can be hurtful. However, answering bad reviews builds consumer confidence in your business and brand. When you address a dissatisfied person, you are also speaking to prospective consumers. They know that mistakes happen, and when they see a company trying to fix them, it creates trust.”
1. Apologize and sympathize with the reviewer
If you’ve been rightfully accused, admit your mistake and say sorry. Don’t enter into an online fight. And resist the temptation to have the last word. Even if they are ungrounded, show sympathy that they had a bad experience. Customers will see and value your empathy and honesty. Being honest with yourself about your business performance is the effective way of improving the conversation with your clients. See the great example of such review below.
2. Be tactful
It’s easy to lose your nerve while reading online criticism. Unreasonably low ratings and negative comments can make you very angry. Experienced companies tackle such situations without letting the emotions control your writing.
Be polite, patient, and respectful to clients who have complained. An impolite response to an angry reviewer will only make things worse. It will further damage the company’s reputation and drive potential customers away.
Have a look at the response of Dan Rodrigues, the founder and CEO of Kareo, to the feedback left by his employees:
3. Solve the issue
Show understanding. Customers want you to see what the problem is and why they are excited about the idea. The best response to a negative online review is the one that directly addresses the reason for the reviewer’s dissatisfaction and reassures them that management is already fixing it. Check out how JetBlue Airways responded to their client complaint.
4. Highlight your company values
In some cases, you should fight back and protect your brand reputation. Still, it is advisable to avoid doing anything that causes bigger arguments.
Let’s take veterinary medicine as an example. It’s the industry where emotions run high. There will always be clients who write that they are just milked in vet clinics and nobody really cares about the health of their pets. It is a challenging task to deal with such reviews. Here’s a classy response where Forest Grove Veterinary Clinic addresses the customer’s experience while highlighting the company’s values.
Producing a product and marketing it is only half the story. Sustained commitment to developing a customer-oriented culture, followed by constant gathering, analyzing, and sharing the feedback plays a crucial role in promoting your business. Always go back to your customers and tell them you implemented their suggestions. It is a solid basis for building a long-term relationship with them.
About the Author: Michelle Brooks is the guest blogger and contributor to the educational resource. Mostly, she specializes in career, education and self-development.