Today, running a successful business requires more than the ability to deliver high-quality products and services to customers. Maintaining a positive reputation and providing excellent customer service both online and off is imperative for continued success and growth, regardless of your company’s industry. Understanding the benefits of reading online customer reviews and keeping a positive online presence is a way to outperform competition while standing out as a trustworthy and loyal brand over time.
Why Local Searches Matter When prospective customers are searching for new restaurants, venues, or other places of interest, they are likely to use a local search option with top search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing to find the most relevant and highest-rated results near them. Local searches are equivalent to traditional phonebooks before the advent of the internet and social media, which is why regularly checking your company’s reviews matters. Users searching for a new local business often read reviews to learn more about other customers’ experiences prior to spending there own money at the location. If reviews are overwhelmingly negative, the chances of attracting new customers decreases, turning picky spenders away immediately. Respond to Reviews Accordingly One way to handle any negative reviews of your business you discover is to respond accordingly to each one individually and personally.
Responding to a review and addressing whatever the writer wants is essential to avoid tarnishing your own reputation or being viewed online as “avoidant”, “confrontational”, and a business with poor customer service. When you respond with a negative tone, you potentially turn away future customers or clients, especially individuals who prefer businesses to remain professional at all times, regardless of the surrounding situation or circumstances. Anytime you share a negative response to a customer or client online, it is visible for others to view, share, and potentially cause it to go viral (which has the possibility of leaving lasting damage and financial repercussions). On the contrary, businesses with an overwhelming number of positive reviews are capable of generating even more businesses and gaining new customers and clients simply by appearing trusted and well-liked online.
Take the time to respond personally to each individual review in order to properly address any critiques, concerns, or opinions regarding your customer service, products, or services you provide. Respond genuinely and sincerely, while providing solutions or offering to fix any upsetting situation your customer is in. Always remain self-aware when you are responding to a customer, even if they are rude, obnoxious, or mean-spirited altogether. Your reputation is on the line any time you choose to share a public response to a customer using social media or local online results. Learn More About What Your Customers Want Ultimately, using online reviews to your benefit as a business is possible by getting to know more about what your customers love and appreciate most regarding the products or services you have to offer. Take note of positive reviews and what your satisfied customers enjoy about your company.
Offer personal thank you responses, discounts, and exclusive offers to those who share, promote, and leave positive reviews for your business to generate additional referrals and more revenue in the future. Pay attention to criticism that you find in reviews left for your business. Avoid taking criticism personally and instead, view opinions as insight into what to change in regards to how you do business or the type of products you are selling. Listening to your target audience is essential to avoid “missing the mark” as you continue to scale and expand your current business model. Understanding the impact online reviews have on businesses and their reputations is necessary to avoid potential backlash and negativity surrounding your business and what it has to offer.
The more familiar you become with review platforms and maintaining a positive relationship with your customers, the easier it is to communicate the proper response when handling negative reviews or critiques of your business.