Word of mouth has always been a vital way for companies to increase their client base but these days, it is a matter of survival, considering the fact that 79% of buyers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Forums, opinion apps, and review sites are a vital source of information, especially for shoppers who may be trying out a brand for the first time.
Consumers read at least four reviews before purchasing an item, so if one of these is negative, it can have a big impact on your sales. Research by BrightLocal shows that negative opinions can stop around 40% of people from wanting to purchase goods or services from a company.
The truth is that regardless of how outstanding your company is, it is bound to receive an occasional negative review. How can you respond to reduce the impact it can have on your business success?
Responding Quickly to Customer Reviews
A vast majority of businesses do not respond to reviews. However, research by Womply shows that those that reply to at least 25% of their online reviews earn 35% more revenue. Answering both positive and negative reviews demonstrates care for customers and an authentic interest in making amends and improvements. When you respond (be it on review sites or on social media platforms like Twitter), apologize for any inconvenience caused and demonstrate a practical solution publicly, even if you need to finalize the details via private messaging with the client.
Leverage the Power of Digital Marketing Tools
Digital marketing strategies like SEO, Google Ads, social media, web development, and top-notch graphics can improve your brand reputation in powerful ways. This is because multi-channel marketing can help clients reach your brand through various channels apart from review sites—these include social media channels and organic search. Digital marketing can also help you tap into the power of virality. One image, video, or tweet can take a relatively unknown brand and turn it into a popular brand name. Back your social media strategy with a top-quality website that is rich in dynamic content, video, and graphics. Your site should also be mobile-optimized, considering the fact that 70% of online traffic as a whole hails from smartphones.
Actively Seek Out Positive Reviews
Brands can increase their average star rating by simply emailing buyers a direct link to submit a review—as reported by Spiegel. Request reviews at strategic moments—for instance, after a customer has experienced success with your product or when they are reordering an item. Additional moments to take advantage of include the moment when customers tag your brand positively on their social media account, when you notice they are spending a long time on your site, or when they have referred a new client to your company.
Even the best businesses receive negative reviews, for a client’s experience is ultimately subjective and you cannot please 100% of customers 100% of the time. The key to minimizing the impact of negative reviews is to respond quickly and to provide real, effective, customer-centered solutions. You should also find ways to counter negative opinions by investing in a good digital marketing strategy and by requesting customer reviews at optimal moments of the customer journey