The key benefits of negative online reviews and how to handle them
One of the key aspects of growing any business is providing superb service day in and day out. Outstanding service can drive word-of-mouth marketing as well as positive online reviews for future growth. However it’s virtually impossible to keep every customer happy, and when you see a negative online review it can feel like your online reputation was damaged overnight. Your immediate response will probably be “how do I fix my negative online review(s)”.
It’s important to note that online reviews shouldn’t be a reactionary part of your business but a proactive part of your business.
Here are 3 key benefits of negative online reviews
- Online Reviews show the authenticity of your business – It’s just a numbers game. The more customers you have the greater chance you will run into an unhappy customer. Here’s the benefit, according to VPDM Digital Marketing 30% of consumers assume online reviews are faked if there aren’t any negative reviews.
- Online Reviews can help uncover improvements – Virtually every small business has a few blind spots. Honest customer feedback can be one of the fastest ways to uncover improvements for a business. Always look at customer feedback negative or positive objectively to determine if there is room for improvement.
- Online Reviews can help increases customer service – As your business grows so does your staff. As you grow you’ll realize you can’t be everywhere all the time. Online reviews allow you to gauge your customer service better and make changes if necessary.
Here are 3 key ways to handle online reviews and staying proactive
- Respond to all reviews not just negative ones – It is critical to respond to each and every online review, not just the negative ones. The key is you’re showing you care about each and every customer, not just concerned with defending yourself against negative ones. Think about it, if you only respond to negative reviews your showing potential customer you don’t care about what your happy customers have to say. The bottom line is you should show you care about all your customer's feedback.
- Always be open and honest – Potential Customers can tell for the most part if a reviewer is complaining just to complain or if it’s a legitimate complaint. One important factor is seeing the same complaint over and over again. This is a big red flag to a potential customer. If your team messed up, admit it and explain your business will grow from it. When dealing with a complainer politely respond and always give thanks for the positive reviews.
- Reach out if possible – If you know the customer or can get a hold of them, pick up the phone and get a better understanding. This gives you a better chance to resolve the issue and could lead to them updating your review in a more positive manner.