The word negative has a lot of negativity attached to it, especially in the context of customer reviews and customer review software. You cannot blame yourself to think of it that way, however, as a business owner, you need to look at negativity with the eyes of opportunity.
Benefits of online review management
If your online review management team tells you about the increase of negative content regarding your business online, make a fair assumption that the structure of the business is not in order. Look for opportunity in these legitimate (and sometimes sponsored) negative reviews by doing the following.
Importance of customer reviews
- Consideration and Restructuration
Negative reviews mostly stem from the frustration of customers who are fed up with not being provided what they were promised with. Before you make more such unsatisfied customers a part of your base, address the problem by tackling the core.
If they problem lies in late delivery contact the courier service you outsource your products to in all seriousness. Similarly, if the problem stems in the way your representatives are not of help to the customers, train them competitively.
It is a good idea to hold a certain degree of defense for your people and business, but markets today operate with the assumption that the customer is always correct. So make that a priority and go for the correction fast.
- Closer to the Truth
Through their online review management, businesses make it an aim to get as many positive reviews as possible. However, if you were a consumer skimming through products and you saw the name of a brand which is relatively unknown but has a number of five star reviews only, you will get suspicious as to how the brand got that far without anyone close to you ever hearing about it.
People who give negative reviews also include constructive individuals, i.e. they do not only point out what was wrong but also highlight what can be done to make things better. They end up making the experience of those basing their decisions on online reviews better because of the holistic exposure they get to the product/service.
In addition, it will remove the vibe of fake/forced reviews that people often outsource people to put up for publicity.
- Be very responsive
A customer review software which is deployed and full of important negative reviews about a product is pointless if you as the business owner do not take out time to seriously figure out what it is that the business is lacking. That does not mean, however, that you go on giving explanations to everyone.
Inform your customers of the standard response time that your team takes to get back after the review box is flooded. Craft your reviews carefully with a mix of humor, quantified analysis and explanations, and a positive outlook on how the future will not see a repeat of these mistakes.
In addition, be sure to answer the concern as swiftly as possible. Baseless negative reviews like “You are a bad business” can often be responded very nicely and used as a social media stunt to elaborate on how a business is easy minded and approachable. The best response is the one which is best though out.
- Hold Transparency
Online review management allows you to take the concerns that individual customers may have with you offline. Businesses hold a lot of power in today’s world, but that power can be worn out quite easily by people who engage in long conversations with business representatives on public forums.
While solving personal issues on a side is important, when issues are faced by a number of people you need to show empathy as a business. Be apologetic, ensure that you are taking steps to improve service quality, and if possible offer some form of concession to the hurt individuals.
To take things a step ahead, publicize the issue and humbly inform the audience of how professionally you dealt with it. Be careful to respect the fine line between informing and boasting though, because it can be counter-productive for businesses at times.
All in all, while you conform to better practices of online review management, remember that businesses represent human instincts, and that they will always be prone to mistakes which can be minimized, but never fully curtailed.