You should never dread online reviews of your business. Instead, you should do everything that you can to promote reviewing of your company. Online reviews are a goldmine for your company because they provide free information and learning things is always a good thing when you serve the public. Here are things that your business should do in the area of online reviews.
It will generally be in your best interests if people are talking about your business online. Of course, not all publicity is good publicity, but as long as your reviews are not overly negative, public discussion is always a good thing for our business. It means that people are talking about you. Perhaps the only thing that is as bad as negative reviews is an apathetic attitude towards your company, and that is exactly what no reviews indicate. Therefore, you want to make it a priority to encourage your customers to leave feedback for your business both privately and publicly. You should know what your customers are saying about your business because, even if it is bad feedback, it will give you the opportunity to improve your service and offerings. More reviews will increase the visibility of your business. Some search engines will improve your search ranking if you have a lot of reviews, making your business easier to find for the general public. Of course, this can become a double-edged sword if your customers leave bad reviews for your business. One way to get your customers to leave you reviews is to ask them directly. You would be surprised how willing people are to offer their opinion when it is directly requested. You can also run promotions that encourage online reviews. However, you need to be careful about giving direct compensation to customers for reviews because then they will be perceived as biased and you will lose the benefit that a good review gets you.
Some businesses may feel the need to get defensive when their business has received a bad review. It is a natural urge to want to defend yourself when you feel that your company has been attacked. However, you should resist the urge to try to do that because it will harm your business both in the short and long run. This does not mean that you should ignore it when a customer gives you a negative review. It’s recommended that you address criticism directly to expand your credibility since 90% of customers will only visit a business after viewing online reviews. You can engage directly with a customer without arguing with them and coming off as defensive. When you appear to be tussling with your customers online, it only magnifies the bad review and makes you look even worse. You cannot change a bad review that is left for you. However, you can win in the eyes of your customer when you acknowledge that there is a criticism of your company and you make an effort to address it and fix it. Then you look like a business that learns its lessons and is responsive to its customers. Follow-up with your customers after you have made an effort to tackle the problem and you can turn a critic into a loyal customer.
Use the Data
Think of reviews as a great opportunity to learn from your customers. Normally, you have to pay consultants a small fortune to get data points about your business. The best thing about reviews is that they are free, and your customers just give them to you. Take advantage of the opportunity that you have been given to find out how your business is doing. If there is a trend in your reviews, learn how to spot and then focus on what you need to get the issue under control. If you have received positive reviews, figure out what you are doing right and learn how to apply it across your business. Also, try to find patterns in your reviews that take into account dates and locations. This can let you know if you have a weak link in your service chain.
Perhaps there is a recurring issue that you may not know a lot about that your reviews can help you address. While it may be difficult to mine the data due to differences in the reviews, at least make sure that you take the time to read each and every single review several times with an objective eye. Sometimes, you may not like what was said, but you can use the data to help grow and improve your business. Do not fear online reviews. You should view them as an opportunity to make sure that negative feedback gets nipped in the bud because they are an opportunity to learn what works.
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