Your business’s online reputation depends a lot on what past and present customers think and say about the quality of your product or service, or at least how they perceive it. Other factors that affect customer reviews also include customer service, value, timeliness and other facets that may be particular to your business.
A company with no reviews suffers a disadvantage over competitors with reviews. Of course, positive reviews are always great, but you’re likely to get a few negative ones along the way too. The benefits of soliciting reviews far outweigh the disadvantages. You just need to stay on top of the game to make sure they don’t ruin your reputation.
In the days of yore, personal recommendations and word of mouth helped to sustain a business. If you were in the market for a product or service, especially from a local business, you’d ask family, friends and neighbors for feedback. Now that we’re in the digital age where almost everything can be researched online, you can see how other customers rate their experience with certain companies. In fact, a survey conducted by Bright Local in 2016 revealed the following statistics:
According to Yelp, one of the top online review sites, while it’s very important to respond to reviews, caution is advised because different people can interpret your responses differently. They advise to consider the following in your responses:
So it’s a balancing act in dealing with reviews, but it is advisable to monitor and respond, if at all possible, to make sure your online reputation isn’t damaged. So let’s look at some ways you can address reviews, both positive and negative.
You may be thinking, “Why would I even want to spend time responding to a good review? The customer must be happy, so that’s a win without any effort on my part.” Even if it’s a glowing 5-star review, it’s always a good idea to respond, if only to show that you care. If the response is crafted strategically, it can even improve your search rankings.
So how do you reply to positive reviews? You need to craft your responses strategically, in order to get the most benefits from them.
It’s even more critical to respond to reviews that are not so great. Keep in mind that everyone has access to those reviews, and if they don’t see you addressing it promptly and appropriately, it can seriously damage your online reputation. Some tips on replying to negative reviews:
In summary, you need to monitor customer reviews to control your online reputation. Responding to negative reviews can help mitigate damage. Replying to positive reviews can generate trust and promote more business.