Don’t Fear Online Reviews, Manage Them
At some time or another, you may encounter a customer who isn’t completely satisfied with your business. They may voice their dissatisfaction via a negative review online. This can have a powerful impact on your business’s reputation, but it’s not something to fear. There are tools available to help you manage these reviews and your online reputation.
Managing reviews for your company can be challenging. There is simply no way to control the reactions of your customers. You want these customers to interact with your business online because this is the new “word of mouth.” Current customers’ reviews are an invaluable resource to you and potential customers.
People tend to read online reviews to make purchasing decisions. These reviews can also cause damage to your reputation and scare potential customers away. There are, however, things you can do to keep your company’s reputation and customer relationships strong, in spite of the unavoidable negative reviews you receive.
Here are five tips on managing your online reviews:
1. Creating a Strategy
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a plan for handling the flow of reviews on social media and other sites like Google. You are the link between the customer and the company. Make sure you have a clear protocol in place for managing comments in a timely manner and getting them to those who can address each situation.
2. Handle Them Privately
As useful as tools like Google’s are, sometimes the best option is to take the conversation to a more private arena. If the comments from your disgruntled customers become too hostile, offensive, or inappropriate, you may need to shoot them a private message on social media or email to ask them how you can help heal the relationship between them and your company.
3. Build Community
Community is important for company growth, building strong relationships with current customers, and encouraging potential customers to put their faith in you. With that in mind, it’s important to understand that you won’t be able to control the types of feedback you receive. You are a vital part of your company’s customer community.
Remember that sometimes things will go wrong. Sometimes it will be your company’s fault. Other times it may not be your company’s fault but the customer will insist that your company is to blame. Your goal is to address the complaint and not the tone of the comment itself.
4. Give Them a Chance
It might be more to your advantage to let your customers speak for themselves. If you’ve built a strong community of current customers, there’s a good chance they will speak for themselves against negative comments. Allowing reviewers to speak for themselves shows potential customers they are satisfied with the company and what it provides them.
5. Stay Positive
Be patient and continue to smile through it. You have a unique opportunity to influence the customers by how you respond to their complaints. Offering a solution, making appropriate changes, and working with your customers ensures your community continues to be an asset to current and potential customers as well as your company.
Managing online reviews isn’t something that you should dread, but use as an opportunity to build your reputation. If you need help with managing your online presence, please contact us for a free consultation.