Today’s customers are savvy when it comes to using the Internet and sharing their opinions with friends online. They share their experiences and opinions from their mobile phones, desktops, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Many businesses dread online customer reviews; however, customer feedback is valuable and can ensure the success of your business and brand. Studies have shown that about 9 out of 10 people read online reviews before making a purchase. That shows how important online reviews are to customers and businesses.
It’s true that positive customer reviews are the most valuable for any business. However, with everyone connected to the Internet each day, you can expect some negative reviews, too. Your business may offer exquisite products and services and yet receive negative reviews. Negative reviews may come from disgruntled customers, but some negative reviews are also fake.
Negative reviews are impossible to cover up, and customers will not tolerate their reviews being censored in any way. Customers will avoid companies that censor their reviews.
As a business, it’s essential to keep your marketing materials and communication transparent. That includes positive and negative reviews from customers (and fake reviews). In this article, we’ll look at the different types of reviews you can expect and how to deal with them. We share resources and tips on how to deal with customer reviews of all kinds, so you can learn how to use them to your company’s advantage.
How to Manage Positive Customer Reviews
Good reviews bring positive benefits to your business and can influence as many as 67.7% of purchasing decisions. And there are ways you can gain even more advantage out of positive customer reviews.
Use Reviews for Social Proof
Social proof, also called information social influence, is the concept that individuals follow the actions of others. Customer reviews are one of the most powerful types of social proof. When your company shares positive customer reviews online, potential customers may feel as if they can trust your business. In addition, positive reviews draw more people to your company, leading to higher revenues.
To get the most out of your positive online reviews, here are some tips you can use:
- Add reviews, testimonials, and ratings to your paid ad communications; these validate your organisation’s brand and encourage more engagement.
- Put a review tab or widget on your website so site visitors can read your positive reviews and feedback; make these hard to miss.
- Share positive testimonials and images that attract attention; do this across your most popular social media platforms.
In addition, be sure to use positive reviews on your website where it makes sense. For instance, consider using these on your home page, the site’s “About us” page, product pages, as well as landing pages.
Earn More Positive Customer Reviews
There are other ways to maximise positive customer reviews. For instance, encourage customers to sign up to review platforms by giving them an incentive. Consider offering a discount code or free shipping, for instance. Get creative with the offers for customers to share their feedback on your company on other review sites.
The goal is to get even more from the customer feedback you’re already getting. The more and better reviews you receive, the more your business benefits.
How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews
So, what should you do about negative customer reviews? First, remember that even the best business will receive negative feedback. In addition, when site visitors come across a bad review, they usually spend about 5 times longer on the site.
The best way to deal with negative reviews is to do it as soon as possible. For one thing, this shows dedication to your customers, and you may be able to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal advocate for your company. Follow the tips below when you have negative feedback.
Be Fast & Approachable—Get to the Bottom of the Issue
The first thing to do is reply to negative customer reviews as soon as possible. Do so in an approachable, friendly manner. Never allow a bad review to hang around for long periods or try to hide it. That only puts your brand in a bad light. Customers will see you as untrustworthy, and it will harm your company’s reputation.
Respond quickly and personally by leading with an apology on any social media platform. Take ownership of the situation to keep it from becoming a huge headache for your business.
How to Respond to Negative Customer Reviews
Here are the steps you can take to respond to negative feedback:
Apologise, empathise, and own the issue; do so in this order at the start of your response. This method humanises your brand and can disarm the unhappy customer. They may feel more open to a reasonable solution, too.
Be professional and conversational to keep your response approachable and personal. Try to respond to the customer by using their name.
Offer a practical resolution to the customer’s problem and thank them for their feedback. Always offer a way to resolve the issue.
Track your online presence with platforms that offer updates each time your business receives a review or a person mentions your brand name online. This makes it easier and faster to respond to negative reviews.
How to Deal with Fake Customer Reviews
Dealing with negative reviews is frustrating enough; however, what are you supposed to do with fake reviews? Fake reviews are those ratings and testimonials that are completely fictitious. Certainly, fake reviews are unfair, but they do exist, and it’s important to learn how to deal with them.
Fake reviews can be just as damaging as negative feedback; however, you can learn how to spot them and how to provide the right public response to these fraudulent reviews. What characteristics show a review is fake?
- They lack details and are vague or generic
- They have more verbs than nouns
- They use a lot of first-person pronouns, such as “I” and “me”
- They usually give a five- or one-star rating
- The reviewer tends to leave many reviews using different tones of voice or in different languages across many different platforms. However, it’s possible they may have no review history at all.
Each social media platform has its own review flagging and appeals process. Read these in advance so you’re familiar with how to proceed. You’ll also be able to respond quickly when you know the rules.
Summing It Up
Dealing with online customer reviews can be challenging; however, when the reviews are handled with care and quickly, it’s easier to preserve your company’s reputation. There’s also a better chance of strengthening your customer base if you know how to respond correctly to customer feedback.