Whether we like it or not, online reviews are critical for businesses!
A survey by BrightLocal found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Despite not knowing who wrote the review or what objectively occurred to that person, customers are still willing to trust them. 39% of consumers read online reviews on a regular basis, while only 12% do not read reviews at all. Taken together, that means the majority of your customers are reading reviews and believing them!
Take advantage of your outstanding reviews.
When your reviews are positive, this works in your favor! Happy customers become promoters and gain you more business. After providing excellent service, try asking your customers to leave a review while they’re standing beside you. This prevents them from getting busy and forgetting to do it later.
Acknowledge and thank customers that give you positive reviews. They will appreciate your acknowledgement and it will become part of their positive experience!
If you feel that a bad review is authentic, take action.
Do not try to resolve the issue online! Respond with directions to another, less public mode of communication. Take the issue offline, research the issue, and try to resolve the matter for the customer with a positive outcome. Once the customers feels taken care of, ask them to revise their rating. If the customer came into your store to resolve their problem, consider having them update the review in front of you to ensure they don’t forget.
Also, make your Store Manager accountable for your store’s online reputation. Tie their salary or bonus structure to it.
Accept that some customers may never be satisfied.
Unhappy customers have the power to drive off new customers before you ever meet them. However, as long as others can see that you have taken action to resolve their concern, don’t start a dialog with another annoyed customer online. It will either go nowhere or somewhere you don’t want it to go!
Remember, how you handle negative online reviews can seriously impact your business!