Don’t have any reviews? 8% of customers don’t care.
The other 92%? They care very much.
….we could go on. After all, we’re not the first people to trawl through a restaurant’s Tripadvisor before booking a table, or scroll through user comments before investing in a new gizmo. We’re you’ve done the same though right?
These statistics are pretty telling today, when a business’s online reputation can be its biggest benefit — or its biggest shortcoming. Even Tesla aren’t immune to the power of the masses.
Companies can do their best to convince customers of the value of their services; but nothing carries as much weight as the words of people who aren’t paid to say them. Consumers trust other consumers more than they will ever trust businesses.
This is why a word-of-mouth endorsement is the most potent form of marketing; but online reviews are the very next best thing.
When you start a business, something that you’ve poured your hopes and dreams into is on the line for both praise and criticism. Customer feedback can be wonderful. And it can be painful. Regardless, it’s important.
Good reviews are good news, naturally.
But that isn’t where the story ends.
Each and every review is an opportunity for progress.
Yep, even the worst of them.
They show us what you do right, what you could do better, and what you might be missing.
And reviews are not the final verdict.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your product, how considerate your customer service team, you can never achieve an entirely perfect record without any negative feedback; actually, it would be a little weird if you could.
You can’t control what people say about you, and you absolutely shouldn’t delete bad reviews when they inevitably appear. The only thing you can control is your response.
In truth, how you react to a review matters just as much as the review itself.
Because your response is an insight into something a lot bigger: your values, your service, your character, your brand.
An insight available to millions of people across the world.
So, what kind of impression do you want to make?
Bad reviews aren’t as bad as you think
No matter where it comes from, negative feedback hurts. It’s difficult not to take it to heart. Behind their screens, people are often more brutal than they would be in real life.
That’s why negative online reviews are a triple threat. They hurt, they’re harsh — and they’re plain to see.
Anyone would want to stand up for themselves in that kind of situation… A lot of companies do just that.
SPOILER ALERT: it does not work.
Being defensive won’t only alienate the consumer who wrote the critique, but also anyone else reading it.
So wherein lies the opportunity?
It’s a two-way conversation, remember. Your response can go a long way towards changing the customer’s mind — and anyone else’s that may happen to be watching….
First things first
Let’s be honest: most responses to online reviews are relatively basic. That’s why the way that you reply is a real chance for you to stand out, and lend a personal touch to an otherwise static online interaction.
A friendly, thoughtful response can have leave similar impact as a smile and a one-to-one interaction.
Bare in mind, your level of formality will be influenced by the review. And of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method that works in every situation.
That being said, the majority of responses will benefit from these tips: