According to a recent survey done by research firm, Dimensional Research, “90% of consumers say online reviews impact buying decisions.” So, if you’re operating under the notion that online reviews don’t matter, you’re wrong.
The digital era in which we live is dictated by a 24/7 world of communication, discovery and opinion – it never stops. This means that your consumers can express their thoughts on your business offerings/products and their in-store experiences, etc. any time (day or night). And when they express their opinions – everyone gets to read them and in turn, forms their own opinions and ideas about who you are. Yikes, right?
It’s true: anyone and everyone can and will talk about you, and what they say MATTERS.
Good reviews are great, but what do you do when you get a bad review? And how can you stay on top of the various places reviews get posted?
Not to be a complete Negative Nancy, but let’s take a look at what you SHOULDN’T DO when it comes to responding to negative online reviews:
- Don’t create false, positive reviews
You will be found out if you decide to take matters into your own hands by: A) Having internal team members write false positive reviews to bury the negative ones, and/or B) Paying people to write less-than-truthful positive reviews.
Yelp actually has a pretty clever software program that flags fishy reviews and alerts consumers to the potential fishiness at hand. And don’t think that Yelp is above publicly shaming companies caught in the act.
Let this TRUE scenario be a lesson to you: When Discount Mattress and Furniture in La Mesa, Calif. fudged some positive online reviews and Yelp figured it out, Yelp put out a consumer alert that read, “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews for the business.”
Talk about embarrassing.
- Don’t bury your head in the sand
I could see how many businesses out there feel much more comfortable simply ignoring poor reviews, because let’s be real here, it’s no fun addressing an angry customer, BUT you have to do it. You see, online reviews (both positive and negative) have staying power, and not only do they stick around, they are seen by many a discretionary eye.
Back before social media was even a blueprint, people would share their good experiences with one person – tops, and they would share their bad experiences with maybe ten people. But today, the scale is magnified, and isn’t it just human nature to be more vocal about the things that peeve us than the things that make us happy?
Basically, you need to address any and every negative comment about your business, and you need to address it in a timely, personal and respectful manner.
Change your thinking about doing damage control. Think of these as opportunities to turn a negative review into a raving review – it does happen!
- Don’t ‘have it out’ online for all to see
Sometimes the nitty gritty details need to be cloaked from the masses. Yes, you do need to do some damage control for the public to see, but if it appears that there will be some back and forth between you and the slow-to-calm-down customer, take that stuff into another room. If the customer’s complaint originated on Facebook, take the detailed banter to the private messages function. Yelp also has a private messaging function.
[list inspired by this article]
Do you find the task of dealing with negative reviews daunting? If so, leave it up to us. Xynergy® has the most qualified online marketing team and employs the best industry resources to manage your online reputation effectively. Xynergy.com or 505-820-9357
In “Part Three” of this blog series, we’ll cover how to turn a blow to your reputation into a point of pride.