Having a strong online presence is the key to achieving a competitive edge over your business rivals. Gone are the days when only customer products and restaurants were affected by customer reviews, these days all sorts of businesses need a strong and positive online presence.
According to an online survey done in 2014, 88% of the people polled said that they read online customer reviews to determine the quality of any business. Thus, positive reviews on a leading review site strongly influence a buyer’s decision-making process. You can love them or hate them, but can’t ignore them.
There are many online review sites and removing negative reviews should surmount your priorities. Your inaction will only hurt your business and aggravate the problem. If these bad reviews have become a poltergeist, here are a few steps that will help you exorcise them:
1.Being up front always helps
As soon as you read the negative review, be quick to contact the customer. Review sites provide details like email id or phone numbers to the business page owners. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand their point of view. Be very polite while you contact them. Go the extra mile to make it up for them.
These sites give the option of revising or deleting the reviews to the reviewer. If you have succeeded in satisfying your customer, you can ask them to consider this option.
2.Respond and address their concern online
Join the conversation and accept if it was your fault. Always thank them and let them know that how much each and every customer matters to you. Be professional and don’t take personal comments personally. If you make honest efforts and give genuine reasons, you can turn the negative review into a positive one.
Understand that there can be clients who just don’t want to understand your situation. Even if this is the case, your humble reply and positive efforts will make a good impression in the minds of the readers.
3.Push down the negative reviews
The best way to disparage a negative review is by encouraging satisfied customers to post a review. You can put table toppers and stickers to remind your customers to write reviews. You can also put links of your review page on your social media posts. Always use subtle ways to encourage customers to review your business.
Another way to create a positive impression of your business on the internet is, writing blogs that review your business. If you write blogs on independent sites, this will improve your image on the internet and belittle negative reviews on the leading review sites.
4.Get the ABCs of review sites
Online review sites use a host of algorithms to filter and rank these reviews. They consider factors like quality, reliability and the reviewer’s activity on the site to determine the usefulness of the review. It is very important to know how these sites work to make your efforts give maximum results. These sites also filter out some positive reviews if they think the review could have been posted by the business owner itself. It is thus equally important to know how the filtering of positive reviews work.
5. Approach the review site
Every industry is going through a tough competition and you can never know when has your competitor resorted to bad-mouthing to get an edge over you on these review sites. If you feel one of your competitors have posted a bad review or a series of reviews, you can request the site for an intervention.
Also, if the reviewer has gone beyond the pale and has posted something really offensive or something that doesn’t abide by the website’s policies, you can contact the site and get it removed. This can be an easy way to get rid of a really bad review.
There’s a little good behind every bad
Bad reviews can really make a big impact on your online reputation. But you can learn from your mistakes and take these reviews as feedback from your customers. You should regularly take some time out and read the reviews. Take them constructively and share them with your employees too. Make changes within your modus operandi to ensure your customers get the satisfaction they expect from you.
Feedback is a valuable source of information and if you can fix the major concerns of your customers, this can really make your business the best-in-class and can catapult your business growth.
Humans have a herd mentality! People form opinions based on what other people think for just about everything. Online review sites provide them a platform to access and share this information. The extent of the influence of review sites will continue the upward trajectory. It is important to take measures to obliterate the negative reviews from these sites and take them off quickly!