The Importance of Reviews - Part 2

getting comfortable with negative reviews

Word of Mouth marketing at work

The Importance of Online Customer Reviews – Part 2

More and more clients are turning to us, looking for help with online reviews. We decided to make a two-part series about reviews and how to make them work for your business. This is part two, to read part one click here

In the digital age, reviews are the online version of word-of-mouth marketing. 85% of people say that their purchasing decisions are influenced by what others say about the business or product online. Customer reviews lend credibility and provide the social proof that your audience is going to need to validate their interest. For someone on the fence, it can often be the deciding factor between making the purchase or not.

When a business allows or encourages reviews, it shows openness, transparency, and above all a genuine belief in their product. It all starts off with Google reviews, but Facebook is also a platform that you can be actively seeking testimonials or recommendations on. For a more in-depth look at which platform you should be active on, check out the first part in our review series.

If you’re all caught up, we know that you are probably questioning the validity of opening yourself up to the hazards of being roasted online; however, that doesn’t need to be a scary prospect if you are prepared in advance with some solid template answers for both positive and negative reviews.

These days, people expect all of their reviews (whether positive or negative) to be responded too fairly quickly. We always advise that our clients wait absolutely no longer than three or four business days to respond for a positive comment and no more than two business days for a negative one.

Your business should designate a review lead who will both post and respond to messages/comments and then a review backup who can help out and take over when necessary. It may seem redundant, but reviews can literally make or break a business, so it’s important to have more than one person on your team who can engage with your audience when necessary.

Are you ready for the template? Ok, unfortunately, we kind of stretched the truth a little bit when we promised a template for reviews, but there was a good reason, we swear! We want you to really pay attention when we say: DO NOT use a templated or generic response when you are responding to people online. It will be noticeable and come across like you just don’t care.

We have made a few guidelines for you to follow that will help you respond to happy and unhappy clients.

Happy Customer

For a Positive Review

As we have said before, it’s important to respond to all reviews as quickly as possible. A personal touch will go a long way towards making the reviewer feeling thanked and give them even more positivity, making the respondent even more likely to not only frequent your business but also become a brand champion.
Think of responding to a review as another way to form a relationship with your customer and an extension of customer service. Our rule of thumb is, thank the reviewer for the effort, make it short, sweet, and if you remember the customer add a personal touch. Ie: Thanks for the kind words. It was great to have you and your lovely family back in again. Can’t wait to hear about your trip when you get back.

For a Negative Review

Now for the big one – the negative review. Definitely respond publicly, acknowledge their anger or negative feelings and then ask for them to send you their preferred method of communication so that you can clear up the problem. Note that we said the customers preferred method of communication, not yours. This review is about clearing up their concerns, so making it easier for them is important.
At the end of the public response, try to turn a negative into a positive. Ie:
We are sorry your experience with us hasn’t been exceptional and we can assure you that it is not the norm. Please send us your preferred contact method and we will have someone get in touch shortly so we can make sure your experience with us a great one!

With the right touch and some smooth navigating, turning a negative review into a positive one can actually be worth 5 positive recommendations in a row. Don’t be afraid of an unhappy customer, think of it as an opportunity for business growth!

Looking for help marketing your business properly? Get in touch! We can build a killer strategy for you, and be the Yoda to your Skywalker when it comes to building a great online presence.

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