5 ways to make the most of positive and negative reviews

Customer Interaction

Customer reviews and feedback tend to fall into either one of two categories. They’re often positive (heaping praise on your organisation) or negative (usually making complaints about a bad experience) – it’s rare for people to take the time to mention you were average. While both forms should be seen as useful in helping you identify what you’re doing right and wrong, they should also be managed carefully in order to gain the maximum coverage of positive reviews while minimising the damage of negative reviews.

We’ve looked at how you can make the most of your customer feedback below.

Positive reviews

Positive reviews are great since one of the best advocates for a purchasing decision is the recommendation by another person.

Tell them to tell the world

If you’re comfortable in knowing that you’ve offered your customers a great experience then instead of simply having them thank you, ask them to leave a review on a public platform. This can be done on the likes of Google, social media or even reviews sites such as Trip Advisor and Trust Pilot.

Feel free to direct your customers to leave reviews where you see best for your business. If you think you’re going to be commonly searched for on Google, then Google reviews are ideal since people will see your “star rating” when they come across you and many will judge how good you are according to this.

Alternatively, if you’re active on social media and are wanting to get more people to follow your Facebook page then you might want to consider getting a handful of reviews on there in order to give your company a degree of validity.

Share your reviews. Make your reviews more prominent. If someone has something positive to say about their experience with your company then share it over social media. Additionally, you can have a reviews/testimonials section on your website or a small area dedicated to it on your homepage which would allow visitors to see what real people think about your business.

Negative reviews

Chances are that at some point there will be a customer who’ll have a bad experience. Whether you were at fault for this or not, there are a few things you should do to minimise any potential damage to your reputation.

Don’t delete them! Some small businesses find it easier to deal with complaints online by simply deleting them and pretending they never happened. This is the last thing you want to do. While bad reviews can be damaging, deleting them will only make things worse and lead to one disgruntled customers making sure others know that your business “doesn’t care”.

Respond to them. When people leave a complaint or bad review (especially on social media) make sure you respond to them. There are far too many instances where businesses don’t reply to complaints, leaving negative reviews simply sat on their social media profiles. This can not only make you look lazy an unbothered about your customers, but it also makes it appear as though you don’t have a reasonable explanation for why their bad experience might have occurred.

Be sure to respond to them in a timely manner and showing a degree of concern for their complaint.

Offer them something for free. Most bad experiences can usually be dealt with by offering to compensate the customer with something. While you can offer to reimburse them, chances are that while they may be appeased, they won’t actually return to use you again.

In order to actually regain them as a customer what we recommend is that you instead offer them a free product/service, which would allow them to then re-experience your offering and potentially understand that their initial complaint could have occurred from a one off error. This will encourage them to give you another chance in the future while showing that there’s a genuine concern from your business to your customers.

Granted there will be a stubborn few customers whose pride will prevent them from giving you a second chance but with these cases there isn’t much else you can do.

The world of review can be a little shady with fake reviews being left in order to make business look better or competitors look worse. That’s why it’s crucial to build a healthy bank of reviews to really display the excellence of your business.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.