A company’s reputation has never been so publicly visible as it is in today’s digital age. Satisfied and dissatisfied customers are quick to share how they feel about the service or product they purchased. This reality should not be ignored. The good news is that smart companies use this exposure to their advantage and respond quickly to customer complaints, often turning the disgruntled party around.
The Significance of Poor Reviews
The stats show why corporate leaders must respond to poor reviews if they value success. In the Small Business Trends article, Why Online Reviews Can Either Make or Break Your Business, the facts are clear that some consumers will be turned off by one negative review and will not buy. If a company has four negative comments or more, they can lose as much as 70 percent of their business.
How Having No Reviews Impacts Sales
While some people may believe it is better to have no reviews than a bad review, the research does not verify that assumption. As reported in Small Business Trends, having no reviews leaves prospective customers thinking that your business is new, which is a turn-off for some customers. Possibly worse than that presumption is the other prevailing attitude that nobody cared enough to want to give you a review.
Based on this information, it is essential to get some positive reviews. If you provide an excellent customer experience, you will get some good reviews. Under no circumstances should you ever get friends or family members to do “fake reviews”. The marketplace punishes that type of dishonesty.
Why It Pays to Respond to Negative Reviews
There are multiple reasons you should respond to negative reviews. Research shows that when retailers react to bad reviews, then one-third of the customers are so happy the company took the time to answer that they either delete the bad review or better yet; they replace it with a positive one. Additionally, a bad review will provide feedback that your business can use to make valuable changes. It is preferable for a company to know about problems as soon as possible. Better that, than being left to wonder why sales are declining.
In the Forbes’ article, Acquiring New Customers Is Important, But Acquiring Them Accelerates Growth, entrepreneurs, and managers are reminded of the financial sense in keeping customers satisfied. Building on a solid customer base is a predictable path to wealth versus always having to replace customers and never getting ahead.
Monitor Social Media for Customer Complaints
It is easy to see why savvy marketers and entrepreneurs need to manage customer complaints. The next question many businesspeople have is: how do I keep up with all the different digital platforms. One easy, first step to take is to establish a Google Alert to notify you of any mention of your company name online. Assigning one trained team member to stay on top of this makes sense unless your company is huge and needs a larger workforce to handle all the comments. It makes sense to establish policies and procedures to manage social media feedback.
Consider investing in a quality reputation management service. It is essential to respond to any complaint as soon as possible. There are a few simple rules that all customer service professionals should follow. First, you should always listen to the criticism or read it carefully, so you understand precisely what happened. Avoid an argument with the customer as this is a lose-lose proposition. Don’t make excuses. Be sure to apologize and thank them for their feedback.