Digital perception has become business reality and companies must now manage how their customers perceive them online. According to Cone Inc., 87% of consumers said a favourable review has helped confirm their decision to go through with a purchase. With online ratings and reviews showing up high in search engine results and the ever-increasing use of review sites to research purchases, having a 5 Star reputation and positive reviews online is crucial to business success.
Let us do a quick walk through of five things that you can do to improve your online ratings and review while promoting your positive web
1 – Connect with Customers Immediately – While Their Experience is Fresh in Their Mind
Making contact immediately after a customer has purchased your services is your best chance to get a thoughtful and positive review. Do not expect that they will remember all the little de-tails that made their experience a great one when you email them a week later asking them to rate your service. Just be sure to let them know how important online reviews are for your company, how much you appreciate their time, and how grateful you are to have them as a customer. If selling products then sometimes you can be too quick as it may not yet have been experienced or may be a gift.
It is essential that when you communicate with the customer you provide an easy way post a review and encourage them to contact your business directly to resolve any issues they may have had. This helps mitigate negative reviews by giving the customer an avenue to make things better, something they know they won’t get by posting a negative review on a third party site. Happy customers are more likely to leave a review and share their recent experience if you make it easy for them with links to your preferred review site and social media profiles.
2 – Not All Reviews are 5 Star – How to Address and Minimize Negative Reviews
You can sell great products and provide exceptional service, but when sitting behind a computer screen some customers are a more likely to
share their complaint, even though they may tell you everything was great in person. Your customers are increasingly internet savvy; if you take a proactive approach in this process with your customers it will help prevent a blemish to your brand. It is important to note that up to 95% of customers will give you a second chance if you handle their complaint successfully and in timely manner (Jim Moran Institute and Lee Resources).
Still, it stings when negative reviews, true or not, show up on line. Many business owners fear getting a negative review, but you must look
at it as an opportunity. This gives you a chance to review your internal processes, and resolve the situation with an unhappy customer while showing prospects that you actively work to keep customers happy and resolve situations if they arise. Ranting customers often discredit themselves and prospective customers therefore ignore them.
3 – You Must Address All Negative Reviews.
Here is a quick checklist to address them:
<b>Step 1:</b> Drop any personal feelings, put your business hat on, and focus on how you can turn this customer around. Understand that you cannot please everyone. Focus your response to show you are actively working to resolve the issue so prospective customers reading the negative review and your company’s response will understand that this experience is not the norm. Work to remain extremely professional in your tone and consider preparing a template that keeps you focused through this process.
<b>Step 2:</b> Pick out the specific complaints in the negative review and research within your company to see how factual those complaints are. Is this the sixth person who said the billing process was a pain? Make changes where needed and think about how to address the complaint with all the information you have gathered and the steps you have taken.
<b>Step 3:</b> Any legitimate complaints must be handled with empathy and an apologetic tone. Thank the reviewer for their time, apologise for the issue, and let them know you are making changes. Unfounded complaints should be handled in the same way, but instead of letting them know what changes you are making, explain how their experience was an anomaly to what past and future customers have experienced or can expect in the same situation.
<b>Step 4:</b> Cross it off your “Must Do” list and get back to the all the things you need to do to run your business. Getting more positive reviews is the only way to diminish the effect of the few negative reviews that are bound to show up now and then.
4 – Put Your Best Foot Forward – Find Brand Ambassadors
We are at a time where companies no longer have as much social capital as people do and word-of-mouth has become increasingly influential in the decision-making process of consumers. That is why having an active community of real people who support your brand makes such an impact.
Creating this community requires connecting with people and engaging them in an on-going conversation about your product and industry. Social media allows you to connect with people on a human level and create brand ambassadors who sing your praises and share their passion for your product on their social networks.
How do you find ambassadors? Monitor your online and offline conversations with customers and identify those who have already given you feedback. A customer who has gone out of their way to call or write a letter or email show they are are supportive in the success of your
brand. Communicate with your best customers and let them know how much you appreciate their re-view and how wonderful it would be if they could share these great things (list three or four) about your company with their networks.
These Brand Ambassadors will promote positive reviews and beneficial features to prospective customers, providing marketing that people trust. Start small, leave room to grow, and remember that your employees can be some of your best Brand Ambassadors and should be active on social media promoting your business as well.
5 – Keep a Close Eye on Your Online Reputation – More Important than Ever
With a growing number of sites that encourage reviews it can be intimidating to try to monitor and manage your online reputation. As with most business processes, strong focus and a smart plan can not only help you successfully manage your online reputation but enable you to build a positive web presence that brings in new customers and grows your business.
<b>FOCUS.</b> Focus on the Big 3 – Google, Yelp and Facebook – and review sites influential to your specific industry. By focusing on the major
review sites, you ensure that you are effectively using your resources.
<b>PLAN.</b> First, find out what people are saying about you online. Search your company name and products on the major search engines and review sites – make notes. Second, you will want to monitor your reputation by routinely checking the review sites where your company is listed to see mentions, new reviews and handle any negative reviews. Third, you will want to actively seek positive reviews from your customers and get those positive reviews on the sites that your prospective customers are seeing.
There are many ways to monitor and improve your online reputation and encourage positive re-views so don’t get overwhelmed, just find ways to automate this process as much as possible.
Using a service like MyLocal’s Client Feedback System makes this process easy by automating the entire process for you. And for we offer
qualified businesses a free test drive.
- With our platform, depending on which plan you choose, you will be able to:
- Actively monitor what is being said about your business
- Easily send feedback requests direct to a customer’s mobile phone or email
- Re-market to your top customers via instant SMS broadcasts, streaming to your website or posting automatically to social media
- Select the top apps or sites you prefer customers leave you a review on, providing links only to those who have left positive feedback
- Keep all negative feedback in-house, preventing it from ever appearing online
Managing your business’s online reputation is more important today than ever before. Start building your company’s 5 Star Reputation today through working with your most recent customers to generate feedback and actively work to turn the best ones into online reviews.
Take our system for a test drive today.