How important are online reviews for your small business? Very. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations1.
You might be hesitant about letting your customers leave reviews on your site (after all, who wants to create a space for negative feedback?) but not allowing any reviews at all can make your customers hesitate too. Reviews on your site — yes, even reviews that aren’t completely positive — build credibility and trust with your consumers.
And in most cases, there are already other listings for your business across the Web where customers can leave a review. Sites and apps like Yelp, UrbanSpoon and even Facebook allow customers to review your business (and if you haven’t claimed your business listing on those sites yet, you may not get notified when you get a new review).
In other words: there’s no way to STOP customers from reviewing you, but you can respond to negative reviews in a positive way that helps your customers, your business, and your online reputation.
How to deal with negative reviews of your small business
- Respond promptly – It shows that you care.
- Admit your mistakes – Every company makes mistakes, even yours.
- Correct the issue, if applicable – Had problems with shipping the product? Let the customer know you’re working on resolving their problem.
- Write like a person, not a corporation – Be personable. Make the customer feel comfortable explaining their issue.
- Provide restitution, if appropriate – Offer a discount for their next visit, a replacement product or extended warranty coverage.
- Highlight your strengths – Acknowledge your mistakes, but also point out that your company still succeeds at X, Y and Z.
- Ask loyal customers to share their experiences – Unhappy customers are more likely to say something. Make sure you’re asking for positive reviews too.
- Be consistent – Do you usually answer reviews within 24 hours? Good. Keep it up. Your customers want to see that you’re dependable.
We use our hibu reviews to give our customers a voice about their experience — and to help our potential customers make the best decision about their online marketing.
If you need a professionally-built Website and help claiming your Digital Business Listings (so you can start responding to your customers’ reviews), give us a call at 855-771-7858. Not a good time to talk? Let us know when we should call you.