Good reviews can be difficult to come by as experience tells us that the people who tend to be motivated to write a review are those that have had a negative experience. However, research shows that positive reviews on a company are a big influencer for online shoppers when deciding whether or not to buy. Even if not actually buying online, most people will go online and research the product or service they are intending to buy, particularly if it’s a high value item. So obtaining good reviews and dealing with negative ones promptly is critical to managing your reputation online. It’s a fact of life that there will always be the odd customer who isn’t happy, but ignoring them and doing nothing is not an option. You need to respond appropriately online, and show people that you care about your customers.
Below are some tips for encouraging people to leave reviews and also some explaining how you can turn negative reviews around to your advantage.
How to encourage positive reviews:
- Ask your customers for reviews. Most people are polite and if you ask them to provide feedback or a review on your product or service, if they’ve been happy with it, they will.
- Let your customers know that you appreciate receiving reviews. Whenever you post blog entries or send newsletters, give you customers the opportunity to comment and request reviews if they’ve bought from you or used your services in the past.
- Make sure there is a visible call to action on your website and any other social media where people can leave reviews.
- When customers purchase online, give them the opportunity to post a review, whether that’s on the buying process itself or later, on the actual product.
- With the removal of third party reviews from Google places make sure you encourage people to leave reviews on your Google places page in addition to your own review mechanisms.
- Make the process for leaving a review as easy as possible for your clients. Provide links to the relevant pages and instructions on what they need to so to leave the review (particularly relevant for Google places reviews).
How to use Negative reviews to your advantage:
- Take the issue or comment seriously. Potential customers will be reading your response and need to see that if someone has a problem, you take them seriously.
- If your business is at fault, respond with an apology and communicate as appropriate what you plan to do to rectify the situation.
- Let people know that as a result of your communication, future customers will not encounter the same problem. Prospective customers will know that you are willing to review your processes if you are at fault.
- Although you can’t always fix every problem, and sometimes you may not even want to, your offer to fix a problem is a great marketing investment. Suggest that the reviewer contact you (or vice versa) directly so you can try and help. Potential customers, whilst they can’t see the detail of what you’re doing, can see that you are responding and offering to help.
Responding promptly and effectively to negative reviews can be a great opportunity to squash a potential disaster and also provide customer service that may turn an unhappy customer into a big fan. Here’s a more general article on reputation management you may find interesting to read.
How are you getting your customers to review your products and services? Share your ideas with other readers.