Customer reviews play an important role for most businesses today. As more and more people are connected digitally, more customers are turning to the internet for help, advice and recommendations before going through with a purchase.
Online reviews can influence your brand image in your customer’s eyes, so read these tips to manage your business reviews in the best possible way.
Proactively request feedback
The fact that you’re taking the time to ask your customers to leave a review is a huge win – customers like to be made to feel important. If you have a physical service and deal with your customers in person like at a restaurant, take some time out to speak to them and ask them to leave a review for your business online.
You can also email your customers after to check-in and ask them how their service was. If their experience was positive, encourage them to post a review online. Taking a proactive approach to obtaining customer reviews will warrant your position as part of their community. You will be more in tune with what your customers have to say on a regular basis and will be able to respond appropriately.
Respond to every review personally
There’s nothing worse for customer experience than having a robot respond to you. Automated responses are a quick solution for you as a business, but for customer happiness, it’s best to deal with reviews through a human approach. 86% of global consumers prefer to communicate with a human agent, and the same can be said for the review responses they receive.
Read each customer review carefully to see what they are complimenting or complaining about. Are they happy with their interaction with a particular member of your staff? Do they like your website design and not the product? Did they have one bad experience that you can easily resolve? Personalise your response to cater to their specific reaction.
Keep track of your reviews
Set a reminder to set aside time to go through your online customer reviews on a daily basis. It is important to respond to reviews as quickly as you can, especially negative ones. You never know who is looking at the review and when, and it is crucial to get your say in there.
Whether it is to close the door on an unfortunate situation or bask in the glory of a positive review—respond to every single comment promptly. This shows existing customers as well as new ones that you are attentive to your feelings and that you care about their experience.
You can also set aside time to keep track of the reviews your competition is getting. What are their customer grievances and how can you make sure not to replicate them? What are their customers happy about and how can you offer something better? Stay ahead of the game by reaching out to those customers first.
Keeping true to your brand image, voice and tone is key to managing your online customer reviews. Maintain a consistent approach when dealing with feedback across all platforms and media. If you are offering one customer a free gift or discount on a public platform, it is likely that others will expect the same.
Ensure that your tone of voice is maintained across your business by training your staff. They need to know how your customers are to be addressed, and the quality of the responses and solutions offered. A consistent online profile will build trust in the minds of your customers and keep your brand authentic.
Do not delete any of them
Keep those positive reviews, but definitely keep those negative reviews too. Research by Power Reviews shows that 82% of shoppers actively seek out negative reviews when forming an opinion about a brand. The last thing you want is for a disgruntled customer to point out publicly that you have deleted their review in the hopes of shutting down their opinion.
If you do come across a negative online review, always start with an apology. Try to find out exactly what went wrong and offer an explanation. Responding to negative reviews opens a channel of dialogue and shows the customer and new clients that you care. Always maintain a professional and polite tone, and remember that actively responding to them is a better tactic than trying to get rid of them.
Maintain a professional relationship with every customer
It can get frustrating to build and manage customer relationships online. Many companies turn to agencies and review management tools to help ease the process. Get help early and when you need it.
These are just some of the ways you can manage your customer reviews, and not all will work for every business. Ultimately, customer reviews should be a priority for any business today. It also gives you insight into what customers like and desire, helping you with your business decisions.
It is important to stay authentic and true to your brand voice and vision across all platforms. Customers will react positively to businesses that are not fake and that will go out of their way to keep them happy. Prioritise the management of online customer reviews, because every business today knows that online reputation is everything.
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