In the Information Age, most people look at online reviews before they decide to purchase products or services from a given company. Those reviews can convince potential customers to trust your business or scare them away. So what would your clientele think should they look you up on Yelp, Google, or the Better Business Bureau?
Feedback, whether it comes in the form of reviews or emails, has a powerful impact on your company’s success. That impact becomes even stronger when you turn reviews into a tool that hones your business practices and public relations. So you can’t just pat yourself on the back when you receive positive feedback or feel frustrated when you hear something negative—you have to respond.
Below, you’ll find an outline on how you should proceed when you receive different kinds of reviews.
What You Should Do with Positive Reviews
As you might expect, you can use positive reviews to enhance your sales proposals, boost credibility on your website, and congratulate your staff on your social media accounts. However, positive reviews give you more than a valuable sales tool. They also allow you to do the following.
Find the best part of your company to emphasize in the future.
Positive reviews outline your strengths and show you what customers appreciate, so you can take that feedback and improve the best parts of your company even further. You can emphasize these items in advertisements and other sales tactics or during employee-to-customer interaction.
Create personal relationships with happy customers.
When someone gives your company cheerful and encouraging feedback, feel free to respond to that person via the review or social media platform. The individual will appreciate the gesture, and you’ll likely gain a repeat customer. Additionally, others will see the personalized attention and come to you for the same treatment.
What You Should Do with Negative Reviews
Nobody, from the newest employee to the most powerful business moguls, likes to receive negative reviews. Failure has a significant stigma in modern society, but you have to do your best to break out of that mindset. So, when you receive less-than-deal feedback, use the experience as a growth and improvement opportunity.
Try to quell an upset customer’s concerns.
Do not let feedback from angry customers slide. Instead, address it directly with a sincere apology, and offer a solution for the problem, such as discounts or other consolation prizes. However, before you dole out prizes left and right, make sure the complaints come from real customers with legitimate concerns. You can learn more about fraudulent reviews in the sections below.
Additionally, do not respond from a place of anger or defensiveness. Keep your tone neutral, encouraging, and understanding.
Take the feedback to your teams and discuss improvement options.
If you, your staff members, or your system do something wrong, take steps to ensure the mistake never occurs again. Negative feedback gives you free market research, so you’ll know exactly what your customers don’t find appealing. Adjust your business practices accordingly.
How to Spot Fraudulent Reviews
Unfortunately, you can’t trust every negative comment your company receives. Competitors may post fake feedback to undermine your credibility, or previously upset customers may submit responses again and again in an attempt to punish your business for perceived wrongdoings.
Fortunately, you can usually spot these fake reviews in an instant using the steps in this list:
- Analyze the writer’s language. Real reviews don’t tend to use precise, unique, and colorful adjectives, even when the writer feels strongly about something. Real writers use everyday language instead. These reviewers also use specific details about how the product or service worked or didn’t work. If you see vague reviews, you usually don’t have to take them seriously.
- Determine how often the same user posts. If he or she posts often, then the resulting reviews probably count as fraudulent.
- See if the writer mentions other companies’ or products’ full names. If he or she does, then the review may have come from another source, such as a competitor. Real writers would use colloquial names.
- Investigate the writer, where possible. Some business review platforms allow you to see whether the reviewer is a real person or not. If you can, research the writer to determine his or her authenticity.
Essentially, if a review doesn’t seem authentic, do not take it seriously. However, you also have to make sure the same user doesn’t submit further fraudulent feedback. Even one negative post could make potential customers shy away from you. If you think you’ve found fake reviews, let Yelp, Google, or any other platform you use know so they can investigate the matter further.
What You Should Take Away from This Post
Reviews and other forms of feedback can turn into powerful tools if you know how to use them. Use the information above to get started. And remember—do not take any feedback, positive or negative, personally. Think of it only as free market research that allows you to take your business to the next level.