Reviews and testimonials provided by happy customers can be a great way for a business to get the word out about them and develop a good reputation online. On the other hand, not all reviews will be positive, which means every business must have a way to handle any negatives reviews. Reputation management that diligently addresses complaints, bad online reviews, and any other negative comments is essential to avoid reputation damage. The good news is that good reputation management can actually improve a company's good name!
How is that accomplished? Read here to find out!
Be Open and Encourage Reviews
Studies done on customer reviews left on social and review sites show that most reviews are either neutral or positive, most with 3 stars or higher. Despite this, it is essential for a business to understand that at some point, negative reviews will happen. Yet it is important to encourage customer reviews, even anticipating that there will eventually be some negative ones. When reviews are encouraged by companies, it shows potential customers the good things being said about that company. It also allows a business to better gauge what they are doing well and what could be done better. By encouraging reviews and interacting with consumers, a business remains approachable, which ranks highly with customers and helps improve reputation.
Know When To Respond
Responding to negative reviews is part of good reputation management; however, a company must carefully choose which reviews to answer. Some negative reviews are so trivial that answering could only give that reviewer a chance to complain more. Others come from people who like to complain and are seeking recognition. Responding to every complaint can make a company look too defensive. To avoid this appearance, let a few unimportant negative comments go unanswered and act of those more identifiable as needing a response.
Timely Response to Valid Negative Reviews
When a negative review points out a valid complaint, a company must respond quickly, politely, and apologetically. Determining the root of the problem, acknowledging responsibility, and finding out what can be done to help the customer is essential. It is possible many times to turn a negative review into a positive one by simply listening to the customer, offering solutions, and even asking for suggestions.
Once a problem has been addressed, it is appropriate to ask that person to submit an updated review about the resolution so that anyone monitoring the review will see a company willing to do what is necessary to keep customers happy. Such transparency is critical and an important part of reputation management that can build a positive reputation out of a negative review.
With good customer service, and a protocol in place for when and how to handle negative reviews and comments, a company will retain customers and gain new ones as well. Skilled reputation management keeps a solvable problem from escalating to one that damages reputation. It also improves credibility in front of potential customers by showing them a business that cares about customer satisfaction!