Today’s consumers read online reviews before purchasing a product or availing a service. They read through the comments to learn about other people’s experiences, making online reviews as good as word-of-mouth. Good reviews mean a good online reputation, helping improve customer relations and brand awareness.
Online reputation influences people’s purchasing decisions, making it vital to your business. We are here to help you understand the impact of both good and bad reviews.
What Makes Online Reviews Important?
Online reviews are positive or negative comments left by customers who do business with you, and it provides you with tons of priceless information that you should use to your advantage.
According to a top Cleveland SEO company, other things that make online reviews important include:
- Improves Customer Service and Experience
Reading customer reviews gives you a sense of how customers feel about your product or service. You can use this valuable feedback to improve customer satisfaction. Taking your customers’ and prospects’ feedback into account will give them a better experience.
- Provides Social Proof and Credibility
The increasing number of illegitimate companies has made people more cautious about doing business without checking the Internet. People take online reviews as word-of-mouth, so it is crucial to maintain your online reputation. People will choose you more when they see you have a reputable digital presence.
- Gives Voice To People
Online reviews allow people to give your business feedback and share their experiences. Customers are more likely to purchase from you again if they leave positive reviews, which creates loyalty. It also makes them feel more empowered and heard.
- Useful as a Marketing Campaign
Feedback helps your company grow. They create a positive brand image for your company and increase brand awareness. You can also use them in your long-term marketing campaign, especially positive reviews. People will likely find your business when they search for the products and services you offer.
- Increases Customer Retention
Customer reviews give you a good idea of how your business is doing. Satisfied customers will stick with your company; unhappy ones will leave you in a snap.
You can use customer feedback to improve your business and retain customers. Making them feel you care about them makes happy customers more loyal and unhappy ones satisfied, reducing their chances of looking for another option.
- Offers Valuable Information To Potential Customers
People rely on customer reviews in an age where people can do everything online. People trust reviews from other customers more than expert advice or marketing ads. Many websites incorporate platforms that allow customers to leave reviews, such as Google Reviews and Angi.
These platforms provide potential clients with easy access to feedback other people leave. They’re more likely to buy your product or use your service if they find many 5-star reviews.
Responding To Negative Feedback: A Guide
Knowing how to handle negative feedback from customers is crucial. How you respond to your customer will impact their feelings and decision about your product or services. Customers want to be heard as much as the next person, so you must show them you are listening.
These are the steps you should take when responding to negative feedback from customers:
- Respond rapidly.
Negative feedback is best dealt with quickly. Make a plan and respond to the review within 24 hours. Do not let negative feedback sit idle for days.
- Recognize their complaints.
Negative reviews can be frustrating for business owners. It’s essential to stop and take a deep breath before you react to a customer’s complaint. Recognize how they feel, and let them know you are open to discussing how to improve their experience doing business with you.
- Accept responsibility and apologize.
It is easy to forget how a sincere apology can make a difference. Your response demonstrates how much customer service you value. Business owners need to take responsibility for the situation, even if it is not their fault. Include how proud you are of the quality of your products and services in your response.
- Explain when necessary.
Explaining your side of the story may be necessary, depending on the review. Your explanation might be helpful if the problem is due to miscommunication, delayed deliveries, or poor material quality. This allows the customer to understand the reason for the situation.
- Have a discussion somewhere else.
Negative reviews are public, but you must discuss their resolution offline and privately. No one needs to see the interactions between you and the complainant. They only need to see that you responded to the negative feedback and are working to fix it.
- Make things right.
The last step is to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. Determine the root of your customer’s dissatisfaction before offering solutions like a refund, a discount, or a free service or product. This may help ease negative feedback.
Make a public statement if there is nothing you can do. Let people know how you are improving and working to prevent the problem from happening again.
The Bottom Line
Online reviews are essential to any business. They improve customer service and experience, giving customers a voice and a chance to be heard. They also give your business credibility and social proof, which helps retain customers and offer them more information about your product. They are also suitable for marketing campaigns.
However, not everyone will leave positive reviews. Make sure to respond to not-so-favorable reviews immediately. Recognize their complaint, accept responsibility, and apologize. You may also need to explain your side but do it elsewhere. Lastly, make things right.