One of the major shifts that the digital landscape has created is the platform for customers to leave and read reviews about businesses. The online reviews trend can either make or break a business. Therefore, companies must learn to navigate them to increase sales, foster customer satisfaction, and build customer loyalty and reputation.
Below are tips for managing online reviews and feedback for business growth.
Enhance Communication with Customers
According to the recent online review trends report conducted by PissedConsumer.com, over 87% of customers tried to contact the respective companies to resolve their issues before posting public feedback. They wanted to give the business a chance to address their problem promptly. Unfortunately, in 84.8% of the cases, customers did not get a solution.
Due to the difficulty of reaching customer support, consumers often post their reviews publicly to resolve their issues, warn others about their experience, share their feelings about the situation, or offer suggestions on how the company can improve.
To avoid such scenarios, set up your customer support so that it is easy to contact its representatives and implement effective systems and policies to ensure smooth resolution of customer issues.
There are different methods you can employ to create open channels of communication. The most common options include phone support, live chat, social media, contact form, and email address.
Clearly indicate your contact information, whether on the website or in the purchase confirmation email. Let the customers know they can reach out if they encounter challenges. On the other hand, ensure that representatives are readily available on your communication channels to respond to the customers promptly.
Understand the Impact of Reviews on Consumer Behavior
Online reviews have a significant effect on the loyalty of current customers and the buying choices of new clients, as most rely on feedback when making purchasing decisions.
As part of their due diligence, they read online feedback to determine whether customer experiences are generally positive or negative. They also check the star rating, customer complaints, company responses, and the number of reviews published, among other factors.
According to online review trends and statistics, 88% of consumers will choose a business if the owner addresses all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. They also tend to compare positive feedback and then rely on their common sense to decide on a purchase.
Overall, online reviews demonstrate a company’s credibility. They have a significant impact on how customers perceive and trust your company.
Proactively Seek Feedback from Customers
Customers will undoubtedly find platforms to review your business. As such, you want to take a proactive rather than reactive approach towards getting customer feedback.
Such a policy will enable you to gain valuable insights about your business and identify areas needing improvement – product quality, design, processes, or policies. Besides, you get to choose a platform that you are familiar with.
By opening communication channels, you get a chance to handle customer issues before they are escalated publicly, potentially tarnishing your reputation. Actively seeking customer feedback also communicates that you truly care about them.
Respond to Customer Reviews Promptly
Some businesses go to great lengths to hide negative reviews, but it’s unnecessary. Negative feedback can be a beneficial tool for building customer trust and loyalty if handled correctly.
They are an opportunity to resolve customer issues, potentially converting dissatisfied customers to loyal advocates of your business. They also show prospective clients that you care. It is an essential factor, considering that the majority of consumers rely on reviews and will not buy a product if they read a complaint.
The key is to respond promptly, ideally within 24 hours or within 1-3 days at the latest. Apologize to the customer. Do not be defensive or try to play down the issue the customer is bringing up. Instead, empathize with them and express regret that their expectations were not met.
Then, offer the next steps they can take to resolve the issue. Be polite and professional in your response. Customize it for each customer to make them feel heard.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Online reviews are an important tool for your business reputation management. To manage your online reputation effectively, have a system in place to check your reviews daily or every other day and respond accordingly.
Don’t just monitor for negative reviews. Check for positive reviews and use them as customer feedback for what is working in business. You could also use the positive reviews as testimonials to amplify your marketing.
So, be proactive about implementing strategies that enable you to leverage customer feedback for your business success. Keep your lines of communication open to allow consumers to reach out to resolve their issues quickly. Monitor reviews regularly on different platforms and respond to them promptly. Put in place a policy and strategy for online reputation management.