For consumers, it is really important that they can voice their opinions and connect with their favorite stores, while retaining some anonymity as well. This means that they can say whatever they want, and be free of consequences. While this is great for consumers, it isn’t always good for businesses.
Benefiting from the Internet
The internet is clearly beneficial for consumers, but it is important to understand that it is beneficial for you as well. Yes, people have the opportunity to say bad things about you, but they can say good things as well. And even the negative feedback gets back to you, which means it is an opportunity for you to learn, so long as you as you know how to engage in online review management. Let’s take a look at what this means.
Negative Reviews Aren’t Scary
Nobody wants to get negative reviews, but they aren’t the scary thing they are made out to be either. As said, they are an opportunity for you to learn and to show your customers that you are always willing to improve. Negative reviews can be used in your favor, in other words.
Make Sure You Can Get Reviews
Reviews have a huge impact on the overall success of your business, which means that you have to encourage people to leave them. Make sure you are registered with all the relevant review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp, therefore, but also that you have strategically placed review forms on your website, encouraging people to leave their opinion directly with you.
Don’t Ignore the Bad Things
Sometimes, you get a negative review that is clearly designed to be nothing but slanderous. It can be tempting to remove it or to ignore it. Both are the wrong course of action. If you remove them, the person leaving the review will only tell their friends and come back with a vengeance. If you ignore it, people will think you are afraid to address issues. Hence, address even the most slanderous of reviews in a professional, polite manner.
What customers want is to be listened to. This means that you shouldn’t use standard responses or macros to answer certain questions. Rather, address people by name and discuss their exact problem in detail. Be personal and show them that you are human, just like they are.
As you can see, dealing with online reviews is not overly difficult, and it has a tremendous benefit to your business. What reviews do is create a brand image for you. While you have little control over the image that is spread about you, it does give you a tremendous insight on whether or not you are achieving your strategic goals. And if you feel the reviews show that you are going off track, you can use those to make adjustments and turn things around again. In other words, you are not in charge of what is being said, but you are certainly in charge of the narrative.