It’s not a question that customers use recommendations to choose a business or product over its competitors. Word of mouth has evolved into online reviews on Google and social media sites. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. This statistic alone should push business owners to make this aspect of customer relations a priority.
1. Interact with and monitor your Facebook reviews
Facebook reviews are a key facet of your online image. These can filter onto your company’s Business Knowledge Graph and display above the Google Reviews.
If someone leaves a five-star Facebook review with no commentary, even a “like” or “love” reaction from your business can make the customer feel appreciated. When the customer takes the extra step to leave a custom review, make it a point to thank them with a personalized response.
2. Curate your initial response to a negative review
It is important to be proactive when it comes to handling negative reviews. Your first reaction may be to jump to your company’s defense (let’s face it, no one wants their baby to be called ugly). Take a minute and breathe. Does this comment have truth behind it or was it done out of spite? Either way, your response should be apologetic and aim to solve the problem. This is a template you can use and adjust to the specific situation at hand:
“Hello, ______. Thank you for your honest review. We are sorry to hear about your negative experience. What can we do to resolve this?”
Responding to negative comments with this type of response sends a message to anyone else reading the review that you are listening and will work to fix problems.
3. Don’t let your engagement with online reviews (or lack thereof) backfire
Letting negative comments escalate will only fan the fire. One person leaves a review bashing the way you do business. The words “cheaters” and “thieves” might have been thrown around. If you make no effort to remedy the situation publicly and continue the specifics privately, other angry customers can jump on the same post and create a string of complaints. This can severely effect your business.
4. Respond quickly: time is of the essence
Responding to a review left three years ago won’t do any good and may actually make it worse. Whether the review was good or bad, it makes it seem like their comment wasn’t important to you and didn’t deserve an immediate reply.
5. Identify the silver lining of every review
Even when a review seems harsh, there might be an underlying truth that needs to be addressed. If a frustrated customer complains about the attitude of an employee or the quality of your product, take this as an opportunity to improve your business. Keep the reviewer updated privately with finding a solution and conclude with asking for a second chance. As a result, the user may change a one-star review into a five-star, just by the way your business made amends. Positive customer relations can go a long way with retaining consumers and give your business a top-notch image.
Does your social media need help? Take a Social Media Review to see how to increase your reach!