The number of consumers who read and trust online reviews is increasing by the day. According to a recent survey, almost 88 percent of consumers rely on online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. What this means is that not offering customer reviews, or ignoring them as a potential opportunity for promoting your business, is like losing control of 88 percent of your customer base. Here’ another compelling stat: According to a report by Reevoo stats, more than 50 customer reviews per business can lead to a 4.6% increase in customer conversion rates.
As an entrepreneur, you need to understand that all reviews are important. A mix of good and bad reviews may convey the authenticity of the opinions people read. However, too many bad reviews aren’t good for your business. But when you are running a business, you’ll most likely come across bad reviews from not-so-happy customers. It is a challenging task to make every single customer happy. From Yelp to Angie’s List, your customers will share their good and bad experiences on every available social platform. However, it’s not the negative reviews, – but how you handle them – that will impact your business.
According to reputation management experts, the most effective ways to minimize the impact of negative reviews is to increase the number of positive reviews. Obviously, you’ll need to encourage happy customers to take the time to write good reviews. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. The easier the better: No matter how happy and satisfied your customer base is, not many of them will be willing to go out of their way to write a review for your business. Therefore, make it easy for them by sending a direct link to your business profile page on major review sites.
2. Incentives for customers: Even your happiest customers may not be interested in writing a review for you if there’s nothing in it for them. You can motivate such customers with a small return gift such as a iscount coupon or a membership.
3. Be proactive: Let’s say you received a bad review from an agitated customer. Now, whether you respond publicly to that negative feedback or communicate privately with the customer, the goal is to turn the customer as well as the review into a positive one. And once you’re able to resolve the issue, request the customer to edit the original comment.
4. Personalized follow-ups: Sending thank-you emails to customers is a great tool to stay in touch. But your customers will remember it for longer if you send them personalized hand-written notes or call them to ensure they enjoyed doing business with you. This could a polite way of asking for a review. It will not only open up the line of communication but will also add a personal touch your interactions with customers. This may, in turn, get you positive feedback.
5. Deliver exceptional customer service: This is the easiest and the most effective way of collecting amazing reviews from customers. Ensure that you deliver excellent customer service every time a customer comes to you. You need to make your customers feel connected to your business – then they’ll never miss an opportunity to send you positive reviews.