You work hard to build your business, taking in customer feedback, and providing the best service you can. You think you have everything in line, then a disgruntled customer leaves a review online giving you one star.
Has this happened to you? Anyone running a venture, no matter how good their customer service skills are, will encounter this at some point. Online reviews can be both a blessing and a curse but with the help of our three tips for online reviews, you can turn negative and positive reviews into a way to boost your business.
Use Them To Build Trust
Positive reviews and testimonials will build a bond between you and potential customers. Surveys have shown that many customers do not trust companies that have three stars or lower, but will trust those with four stars and up. These can convert to website traffic and sales. It's estimated that an increase of 1 star often equates to an increase of sales of 10%. Paying attention to your online reviews definitely impacts your bottom line.
Reviews, good or bad, also give you an open line to talk with customers. As others will be reading, dealing with praise and criticism well can also increase trust. It is important that you reply to as many comments as you can, particularly negative ones.
When dealing with negative comments, try to keep the focus on the positive aspects of your business and the service you provide. Point out how errors may have occurred, without admitting fault. Always offer to rectify the situation and never belittle a customer or accuse them of being wrong. Sometimes negative comments aren't justified, but when they are be grateful for the feedback. You'll want to make it right and also make sure that another customer doesn't have a negative experience.
Online Reviews Can Increase Brand Awareness
Online reviews increase your visibility. Google and other search engines will prioritize websites that have flows of traffic and new content. Having people leave comments and testimonials on your website is part of this.
Feed this by asking customers to leave reviews or feedback. If purchasing from a physical business or service, you could offer a reward, incentive, or discount for a review (many restaurants are known to do this with Tripadvisor). You could even try signing up to multiple review sites, instead of just using the main social media. If you do incentivize reviews make sure that you don't limit it to only good reviews. That is a big No-No for review sites.
Drive Purchases With Online Reviews
One way to increase awareness of your brand is not just waiting for people to review you but begin to do reviews yourself. For example, if you are a toy store, start to review new and upcoming toys on a YouTube channel or podcast. By doing this, not only are you getting your brand out there but you are also becoming an expert on a subject.
Once you have a regular audience, you can direct them to sales of the product or service from your website. Although many social media sites now have strict rules on this, it is still a valid and legal way to gain sales. Be sure to keep up to date on the Terms of Service for all sites where you implement this.
Cross post your reviews and testimonials on all of your social media pages. Make sure they are interspersed with articles, offers, and informational graphics of interest to your customers. This will increase brand awareness while you continue to bring value to your customers and prospects.
Reflect on the Performance
After implementing some of these strategies for online reviews, visit your statistics again in a few months. Have they increased sales? Have you seen more footfall, phone calls or website traffic in your business?
Although many business owners understand the importance of reviews and want to leverage them they find it difficult to implement it in their own business. There's so many other things to do! And sometimes it can just feel awkward. We provide easy to use, automated systems that make review collection natural and systematic.
If you need more assistance with your online business reputation, then please reach out to us. We would be happy to sit down and take a look at your business and offer our recommendations on how to get started to build a strong foundation to increase your visibility, sales and profit.