As a customer, one of the most important things is to be able to have online interaction with businesses and to be able to have an opinion. Customers can say whatever they like to say and not be penalized for it. But for a business, a single bad opinion can be completely destructive.
The Internet Equals Freedom
Customers love that they are completely free online. They can say what they want, do what they want, like what they want and dislike what they want. As a business, you simply have to accept that people can do this. As such, when someone leaves you a negative review, see it not as a personal attack on you, but see it as an opportunity to learn, grow and improve.
Key Factors of Online Review Management
Online review management needs to be a key factor of your online marketing strategy. A few key pointers to keep in mind:
- Negative reviews are not the end of the world. They’re not even scary. They are an opportunity for you to improve yourself and show your customers that you value their opinion and listen to them.
- You should have an easy to find customer review form, so people who are happy about your product or service don’t have to go through any difficulties in order to find you.
- Negative feedback should never be ignored. If you spot it, address it. Do so in a respectful, professional manner, even if you feel angry or even seething inside.
- Remember that your customers are human and they want to see that you are human as well. This is why you should try to build a personal connection with your customers. Social media is a particularly strong tool for this. Don’t use standard responses either, customers can see straight through these.
- Link your business to social media and to the various review websites. Encourage your customers to leave reviews about you. This is a great opportunity to mitigate negative reviews.
Online feedback is unavoidable. It can, in reality, make or break your business. Your goal, and that of a reputation management company that you work with, is to make sure that it doesn’t break your business. One negative review can destroy all your efforts, but if you address it properly, even a negative review can be turned into a positive. This is why you should also encourage all your customers to leave reviews, whether they are positive or negative.
Do also remember that all reviews, whether positive or negative, should be a part of your SEO (search engine optimization) campaign. This is because they essentially create content, and content gets you ranked. While it would be nice to only receive positive comments, the reality is that even the negative ones are beneficial in the eyes of Google. And, if you reply properly to the negative ones (don’t ignore the positive ones either, by the way, send them a thank you), then you can work even more on your SEO.