Last week, I had a terrible dining experience at a bistro. It was my first time at that place. Hence, I had no clue what it had in store for me. For the price they charged, the food was quite ordinary. And what I disliked the most is that they don’t know how to treat the customers. I wish I had read the reviews before making my dinner plans.
The online reviews are really helpful when it comes to making a purchase decision. In fact, the 2018 Local Consumer Survey by BrightLocal suggests that 91 per cent of 18-34 year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Yes, the numbers are extraordinary. But my question is, how do these online customer reviews impact business anyway? A study conducted by the reputed Harvard Business School reveals that an increase in rating on Yelp.com can boost a restaurant’s revenue by 5 to 9 per cent. Negative reviews are just as impactful as positive ratings. According to Moz.com, four or more negative articles about a company on Google can cause a loss of 70% potential new customers for the company.
In today’s digitised world, consumers are more informed than ever. Before they try your service or product, they do a significant amount of research online. So, if there are strong customer reviews about your product/service on the internet, they tend to build an impression about your products/services before even experiencing them.
The impact of positive online reviews on a business
When a prospect (potential new customer) finds a bunch of positive online reviews about your business, he/she gets a good impression of your services/products. Yelp.com and Google Reviews – these are two of the places, which people refer to for finding genuine reviews. Students, who look for assignment help services, generally look for student reviews before availing any assignment writing service online. In fact, there are reviewing platforms like Essaycritics that let the students know which service provider is better compared to others.
Popular websites like MyAssignmenthelp and Allessaywriter have tonnes of positive student reviews across such platforms that justify their authenticity. If your business receives such detailed reviews on trusted platforms, it can benefit your online reputation hugely.
What can a negative review do to your business?
An average customer reads around 10 reviews before trusting a business, as per the BrightLocal report. In fact, negative reviews have more direct and immediate impact on consumers than the positive ones. In fact, a report by Northwestern University and Power Reviews reveals that 82% of shoppers look for negative reviews.
Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of negative reviews entirely. Even if your business is doing well, there are still going to be bad days. You don’t have control over server failure, equipment breakdown, or an agitated customer. The best you can do to deal with these menacing reviews is to respond to them.
How to deal with negative reviews?
A simple reply to the negative reviews is better than doing nothing at all. When your prospects see that you haven’t replied to the negative reviews, they believe those reviews to be true. If you respond to the negative reviews and try to investigate what went wrong, these efforts put you as a responsible service provider in front of the prospects.
Apologising for the inconvenience and putting effort to resolve the issue by communicating with the customer offline can help turn negative reviews into a positive experience.
How to turn a negative review in to a positive experience?
The majority of the customers trust their fellow customers on the internet more than they trust a brand. Hence, you need to look at these reviews as an opportunity to earn their trust. It’s unfortunate that a lot of companies don’t acknowledge the value of the customer reviews, which eventually hamper the reputation of the company.
There are actually several ways to treat a negative review and use that opportunity to earn the trust of the customer.
- Treat every review with proper attention:
Instead of having passive involvement with the issue and developing a one-sided judgment, it is recommended to communicate with the customer and learn all the tiny details about his/her complaint. Learn the reason for the customer’s dissatisfaction, which order caused it, and what can be done to fix the issue.
- Don’t be afraid to deal with negative criticism:
It is possible that the customer says something harsh about your service and product that you may not like. It is recommended to deal with the matter with a calm head. How you deal with the issue also has a lot to do with your online reputation. So, you need to listen to the issues and provide a solution that can satisfy the customer.
- Always ask the customer to change their reviews:
Once the issues are addressed and resolved, follow up with the customer and see if he/she is satisfied with the rectified solution. If they are no longer facing the issue, request them to remove or update the negative review that they left online. You don’t want to leave a negative review on the internet that can surface at any point and affect your reputation.
It is also recommended to remain active on social media platforms and online forums where people can discuss your products. If someone is discussing negative things about your services with others, you need to be aware of that. Also, encourage your existing customers to post reviews. The more validation you have for your services, the better your chances are of turning more prospects in to customers.