How Do You Manage Online Reviews?
When it comes to online reviews, it’s important to remember that there are three types: the good, the bad but usually reparable, and the nasty that is just plain hurtful. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you respond to all types of reviews in a way that preserves your online reputation mitigates any damage.
The Good Reviews
When you receive a positive review, be sure to thank the customer for their kind words and let them know how much you appreciate their support. It’s important to be polite and professional.
The key is to be personal. Readers recognize a standard response when you use the same thing over and over again. It can be pre-formatted for ease, but add in a personal line, relating specifically to what they mention in their review, and use their name! Making it personalized makes a huge difference.
“Hi Dan, thank you for taking the time to share details about your recent visit. We’re thrilled to hear that the (dish) was enjoyable, it’s our secret recipe! We value your feedback and appreciate your support. We look forward to the next opportunity to serve you!”
The Negative Reviews
If you receive a negative review, don’t panic! Negative reviews provide an opportunity for businesses to improve their customer service. These days they call it a “growth opportunity,” and if you can put aside your initial emotional response, there’s probably a grain of truth and room for improvement.
Take a few minutes and a few deep breaths. It will not serve you well to be reactive. Instead, apologize for any inconvenience they experienced and try to resolve the issue. Tell them what action you will be taking, improving the training of a specific team member, identifying a problem with a process or product.
“Hi Cindy, we’re very sorry to hear about your experience and want to apologize for falling short on your online order. We are looking into this to see exactly what went wrong and will be using your comments for training purposes with our staff to ensure this doesn’t happen again to you or anyone else. We would be appreciative if you could contact us at XXX so we can make things right. Thank you, and hope to hear from you soon.”
Address the reviewer’s concerns and try to resolve the issue. Your goal is to make it right for them, and ideally, you take the conversation offline to resolve it personally. When they contact you offline because of your response, you can offer a certificate or other incentive to encourage them to give your business another chance in the future, or in really concerning cases, offer a refund or exchange.
The Nasty Reviews
Every so often, someone cuts deep. The review is so nasty that there is no way to console them or win them back. Even worse, they may be completely wrong about what they are saying about your business. In this case, the desire to be “right” is powerful but you have to resist.
This is likely a lost customer or a vindictive person, but their comments will be online forever, as will your response, so it is even more important to stay calm and professional. Do not attack the customer or make excuses for your business or tell them they are wrong. Do not engage in an online battle or do anything to provoke them further. Thank them for their feedback, tell them you’ll take it into consideration, and then move on. If it’s extreme, you can report it to the review site it was left on.
For even more details and examples about how to respond to negative reviews, Click Here.
Why Should I Care About Reviews?
Reputation management is one of the most important aspects of doing business. It can be the difference between growing your sales and losing customer faith.
When it comes to responding to online reviews, you want to be sure that you handle them all in the same way – whether they’re good or bad. By responding to every review, regardless of its tone, you show your customers and clients that you care about their feedback. It also helps to keep your online reputation clean and polished.
Negative online reviews are inevitable. It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time and sometimes things will go wrong. However, if you handle negative reviews well, they can improve your customers’ perceptions of you. This is because negative reviews are one of the most powerful forms of word-of-mouth marketing.
When your customers see that you’re responsive and care about their experience, they’re more likely to leave a positive, thoughtful review. So don’t be discouraged by a few negative reviews – instead, use them as an opportunity to improve your customer service and online reputation.
And remember, answer your reviews!