Remember these five strategies when you need a plan to quickly improve online reputation in order to minimize potential consequences of a negative review.
Improve Online Reputation Every Day with 5 Key Strategies
Few businesses escape unscathed; sooner or later something will go wrong in the customer experience, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and ultimately, a bad online review. As a business owner, you can choose to view negative reviews as an opportunity; your plan to quickly improve online reputation can be the key to avoiding negative consequences.
Improving and maintaining online reputation should be a daily exercise.
Negative reviews often result in lost sales. 90 percent of customers read reviews before shopping at a business; however, only 6 percent of customers take the time to write them. Although it might seem unfair that such a small sampling of the customer experience speaks for the whole, you do have the ability to neutralize the occasional gaff, especially when you take proactive steps to improve online reputation and monitor reviews every day.
Imagine this scenario: You opened a new business a few months ago and you only have a 1-star review and a 5-star review. The 1-star review is pulling down your overall satisfaction rating to a 3-star. You may think your reputation will work itself out as time goes, but it’s crucial to take charge of your reviews early so you can immediately stand out among competitors.
Use these tips to quickly improve online reputation and get back on course.
1. Use existing reviews as a learning tool.
This may sound obvious, but it’s true. If you’re seeing a pattern in comments left about your business online, it’s possible you’ve uncovered an addressable issue that requires attention.
Let’s say that 3 out of 10 recent reviews talk about the temperature in your store being too cold or too warm. This is a simple issue to address, but if ignored, could result in negative reviews.
The same goes for positive comments about your customers’ experience. If the other 7 online reviews reference wonderful customer service in the form of fast check-out and an organized queue system, continue to do use that system as it’s resulting in multiple happy customers!
When people take time to write comments about your business online, read them all and take action on those factors you have the ability to control (like your store’s temperature) and which are continually causing customers to award you fewer stars and write negative reviews.
2. Reach out to negative reviewers.
When you receive a negative review, reach out quickly and directly to the customer if possible. Resist the urge to defend your company and thank the customer for taking the time to review your business and bringing issues to your attention. Offer a personalized solution to help that customer and you may be surprised how often a complaining customer will go online and delete or update their original review, effectively neutralizing their own negative review.
The unhappy customer is waiting for you to handle the situation with grace and a satisfactory solution. If the customer’s feedback was warranted, make it right and give them a reason to give your business a second chance. The cost of a refund or gift card is far less than the cost of a lost customer and the loss of potential customers who read the review and choose not to buy from your company.
3. Encourage reviews.
The more generally-positive reviews your company earns, the less a negative review will impact your overall rating. Train employees about how and when the time is right in the buying process to ask customers to give feedback or leave a review. For example, if a salesperson asks for a review in the middle of the sale, the overall sale and interaction may come across and pushy and disingenuous. You need to identify the point in the process which offers the most organic point – the time when it’s natural to ask for a review and where customers are most likely to (a) be happy and (b) willing to take action (leave a review).
4. Make it simple to review.
One of the largest deterrents for a customer to review a business can be the complexity of where to leave a review online, and what to say. The last thing you want is a very happy customer who is willing to write a great review for your company give up because the process to do so isn’t easy.
5. Positive reviews warrant a Thank You.
Taking time to thank customers for positive reviews encourages them to shop at your business again and shows potential customers that you sincerely care about your customers. When thanking a customer, be specific. Mention a detail or two from the the transaction in your thank you note or online reply. Receiving a personal thank you note will make your customers feel important and encourage them to share their great experience to their friends and family.
Taking the time and energy to improve and maintain your business’s reputation pays off.
If you want to reel in the 92 percent of people who choose to shop at a local business only if they have at least a four star review; you need to create a plan to learn from past reviews, actively engage with both positive and negative reviewers, make the process simple, and most importantly show every customer how important their continued patronage is to you.