Before deciding to purchase a new thing, or deciding to try out a new service, how often do you check out reviews online? If you’re like 90% of us, you do every time. Online reviews can give your business credibility to potential new clients. It shows them that you’re legit, and you provide a high quality service. A whopping 88% of people said that they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. That makes a huge difference in convincing new people to convert.
Reviews can also boost your organic SEO authority as well as the potential cost of search ads, enhancing your chances of standing out online and attracting new clients in the first place. Having at least some reviews is also a requirement for being able to take advantage of using an LSA (local service ad) on Google.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get someone to leave that first review on your page. People typically only leave reviews if they’ve had an absolutely incredible experience, or an absolutely terrible one. If good reviews leave a positive impression on a potential client, you can guess that a bad review can be horrible for your business.
A bad review discredits your establishment, and discourages people from coming in and using your services. It negatively impacts your organic SEO score, minimizing your chances of ranking higher in search engines too. Best case scenario, do everything you can not to find yourself in the position of being the recipient of a bad review. If you do happen to get a bad review, it’s important not to panic.
Even though it’s a huge pain, it’s natural to get a bad review every now and then. The most important thing in determining how much it will affect you in the long run is how you respond to that review.
Tip One: Respond Quickly
The more quickly you respond, the less potential customers will see the review without your response. When people see the bad review, and they see how you reacted to it, it can offset the bad impression the review by itself gives off. Think about it this way. By responding quickly, you’re showing people that you care about your customer experience, and that you’re dedicated to making things right.
The tone you respond with also matters. You want to be gracious, accept fault, and thank the consumer for leaving a review in the first place. This shows the people looking at your reviews that you value your customers and their opinions.
Tip Two: Respond with Solutions
When you do respond to the review, be ready to solve the problem or address the issue in some way. You want to show both the people reading the reviews, and the jilted customer that you do care about them and the quality of service that they receive. If at all possible, always try to set things right in some way. Whether it be a refund, re-service, or a sincere apology for poor customer service.
That being said, sometimes you already have done your best to set things right with the customer. Maybe they complained to you directly already, and you’ve already offered recourse that they’ve refused. These situations can be tricky.
When this happens, it’s best to point out that you have offered this particular customer a solution for their problem. State what you’ve offered and that you’re still willing to solve this problem for them. This way, other customers can see that you did make an effort to solve this problem for them.
Unfortunately, you can’t always make everyone happy. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to fix this relationship with this customer, and also save your online business reputation. But if you can’t fix this relationship, don’t get too frazzled, and focus on repairing your online reputation. For this, transparency is key.
How To Respond To Google Reviews (Both Positive and Negative) | Ryan Reflects
Tip Three: Offer an incentive for them to return
If you’re familiar with the marketing funnel, you know that the ultimate goal is gaining brand loyalty from a consumer. The more repeat consumers you have, the better for your business. Sometimes you can turn a negative experience into a positive one, by making the customer feel heard and valued.
Another way to make them feel this way is to offer an incentive to return. Sometimes you can’t offer a solution. Maybe they had a bad experience on a personal level with an employee. In these kinds of situations, the next best thing you can do is apologize, tell them you’ll address the situation internally (And follow through!), and offer them some kind of incentive. This can be a freebie, a discount, or whatever else makes sense to do in your business.
Always try to look for ways to turn a negative into a positive. Bad reviews can be devastating, or they can show potential customers that if something goes wrong, you will fix it because you care about the quality of your product. Just don’t make a habit of getting too many of them.