Online reviews – Love them or hate them?

As a business operating in an online world, you must embrace online reviews and actively encourage feedback, if you’re not you are damaging your business!

Customers understand that as a business you can’t get it right every time, research shows that sellers with a 4.2 to a 4.5 average star rating are more believable and trustworthy than sellers with a 5-star rating. If you have been operating long enough you will run into a customer that you just cannot please, it’s inevitable!

Customers know that you can’t get in right every time but want they do want to know is if something does go wrong, will you put it right?

And this is where a negative review can be turned around to benefit your business, not take away from it! There is no need to fear a negative review, it’s the businesses response that will determine the outcome and lasting damage.

Online reviews impact purchasing decisions for over 93% of consumers. With 60% of consumers looking at online reviews at least weekly, according to a survey by Podium.

How should you respond to a negative review?

A negative review strikes fear into the heart of many business owners, but you can view them as an opportunity, being able to demonstrate how you handle customers complaints is the best way to increase consumer confidence.

Use Disney’s ‘Heard’ method, if it’s good enough for the happiest place on earth, which still receives over 135 million complaints every year, its’ good enough for us!

Hear – acknowledge what went wrong.

Empathise – show you understand the customer’s point of view and the impact it’s had.

Apologise – saying sorry is not weak and goes a long way!

Resolve – Come armed with a solution.

Diagnose – demonstrate that you understand what went wrong and how it won’t happen again.

A personal approach matters but do not get emotional, keep a level head, this is not a personal attack on you as a person. Most people if they have had a bad experience just want to feel heard and understood. Accept that it is impossible to get everything right, every time, for every customer and use the feedback to improve your product/service!

Incidentally, you should also respond to positive reviews, it is a great way to show you care and appreciate the feedback!

How do you respond to reviews of your business?