How to make online reviews work for your business

Over 90% of consumers make use of online reviews before making a purchase. As such, it is in a business’s best interest, to make sure that its reviews entice consumers to make a purchase.  But how can a business do this when some consumers leave negative reviews and hurt a potential customer’s perception? Here is how to make online reviews work for your business.

1.    Be strategic when responding to negative reviews

Negative reviews are common, and you just can’t avoid them. That’s because it is impossible to please everyone, no matter how hard you try. However, the difference in customer perception comes in how you respond. When responding to negative reviews, don’t be in a rush. Take your emotions out of it, and make an objective response.

For instance, you may explain to the client why the experience didn’t meet their expectations, and how you will make things better next time. This creates the impression that you do care, and can play into drawing in new consumers. On the other hand, if the negative comment is in between a sea of positive comments, then you may choose not to dignify it with a response. That’s because, the majority positive reviews would convince potential clients that your services are good.

2.    Contact review sites to remove bot-generated reviews

While some negative reviews may be genuine, others could be out of malice. Sometimes your competitors may leave bot-generated negative reviews just to hurt your business. To ensure that such reviews don’t hurt your business, contact the review websites whenever you notice such posts, and have them removed.

However, since it may take some time before they are reviewed and removed, take proactive measures to ensure that they don’t hurt your business. For instance, you can call them out, by letting everyone in the reviews section know that the negative review has been made by a bot. This can go a long way in reducing the potential harm that such reviews may cause.

3.    Use reviews to improve your services

As a business, online reviews should be a guiding force to improve your business. The positive ones should motivate you to keep offering the same level of service and make it better. On the other hand, negative ones should motivate you to do better, and change the areas that clients are complaining about.

While the results may not be instant, you will notice an increment in client numbers over time. That’s because, people will notice the improvements, and this will attract them to your business. Over time, the number of positive reviews will also begin to outnumber the negative ones, and build up your brand.

4.    Always respond to reviews promptly

This is probably the most important thing to do if you want reviews to work for you. Anytime a review is made, especially negative ones, be the first one to respond. This puts the whole issue to rest, before others can form misinformed perceptions about your business.

If you follow these guidelines, reviews could turn out to be the biggest asset to your business.

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