Don’t Ingore Your Online Reviews!

Online reviews found on websites like Foursquare and Yelp provide a quick snapshot of your business to visitors seeking your products and/or services. The problem is, most people who take the time to submit a review online are complainers – while the happy customers remain silent. The result is poor feedback and under-average ratings of your business.

You might ignore these negative reviews because you know you’ve got hundreds, maybe thousands of satisfied customers, but some potential customers only know what they’ve read in your reviews.

If you read a poor review of a new movie, how far would you go to seek a second opinion? Would you call the theater to ask if the review was accurate? Would you write the reviewer and ask for confirmation or have them elaborate on what exactly was so bad about the movie? Probably not. You’re more likely to play it safe and simply pick another movie.

How do you fix negative reviews? We suggest 2 methods:

1) Connect with the customer who submitted the negative review. It’s a rewarding experience to turn an angry customer into a happy one, and you’ll find that most consumers are willing to give a vendor a second chance to make things right. The outcome may be a negative review turned positive, and you’ve now reconnected and rekindled a relationship with a customer who can share that positive story online and recant their previous statements.

2) Focus on producing positive reviews. Take the opportunity to invite happy customers to share their experience with others. Point them towards websites like Foursquare and Yelp and ask that they support your business by sharing a positive review of the products or services received. Chances are, the happy customer would be more than happy to do so. For their time, perhaps you could offer them a discount next time they buy from you. Another effective way to combat negative reviews, is to water them down with a higher number of reviews made by your Facebook and Twitter followers. You DO have Facebook and Twitter followers, right? These followers are part of your online community and by liking/following you they’ve made it public that they’re in your corner. Reach out to them – invite them to submit positive reviews of your business online to combat or water down the negative ones. This group of loyal followers will likely be more than happy to vouch for your business.

What potential consumers read about your business online could make or break their purchasing decision. They are likely to share what they’ve read with others, and whether or not the reviews are accurate, they make you work much harder to protect and maintain your reputation. Try and take control of your online reputation before it’s too late.

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