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If you own a business, you know how disappointing it is to receive a negative review. Whether your reviews are good or bad, it’s important to handle them correctly. Online reviews are changing the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Most people will read reviews on your business before becoming your customer. Online reviews play a huge role in defining your company’s reputation.

Here are five tips to remember when responding to your customers to maintain your company’s good reputation:

  1. Automate the customer review process.
  2. Be gentle with your responses.
  3. Think human, not robot.
  4. Reply to most (or all) reviews.
  5. Make customer satisfaction your mission.

Whether they’re trying a new restaurant, buying clothing, planning a trip, or even looking into housing options, consumers almost always look at reviews first. Reviews help consumers feel confident in their choices. Forbes’ article “20 Online Reputation Statistics That Every Business Owner Needs To Know” states that 74% of people trust a business based off of positive reviews they’ve read.

When you own a business, it’s your “baby.” And when someone doesn’t love your baby, it can be difficult to navigate an appropriate response. Today, reviews are vital in gaining customers, so how you respond is everything.

So, as a business owner, it’s important to put the customer first, even when your feelings are hurt. If someone leaves a bad review, you should respond quickly and gracefully. Doing so increases your chances that the unhappy customer might give your business another try.

A negative review is not always all bad. Criticism can be good for companies. There’s always room to learn and grow. By responding to criticism in a productive way, you’re showing consumers you’re looking to improve. Mostly, people want to know you care – they want acknowledgement.

If you’re new to online reviews or the process seems overwhelming, try online review management software like ReviewMaxer. ReviewMaxer is an affordable and easy-to-use system to manage your company’s online reviews and reputation. Use ReviewMaxer to promote your positive reviews and interact with your customers to resolve issues. Sign up today for a free demo. Or, check out the ReviewMaxer blog for advice to improve your company’s online reputation.

Written by: Taylor Wilson

Featured photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash


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5 ways to respond to unhappy customers and improve your company’s reputation

Before the Internet, a customer called or visited a business to complain. The only people to hear the angry customer’s complaints were the customers in the store at that time who may gossip to their neighbor about the incident. As a result, there was little negative effect on the business due to a customer’s frustration.

Now that unhappy consumers can take their complaints online, it’s a different story entirely.

When customers complain, they don’t spread the news by personally telling 10 people. Instead, they post their complaints on sites such as Facebook, Yelp, Google + and even Twitter. One comment attracts several others and has the potential to reach millions of people. As a business owner, what can you do?

The first step is to make unhappy customers your number one priority, doing what you can to make sure they don’t post a negative review about your business. In the event you are dealing with an angry customer, always address the individual with kindness. If a person posts a negative review or complaint about your business online, here are some useful strategies you can use:

  1. Automate the customer review process.
    Invest in an automated system that notifies you when a customer has posted a review about your business. Online review management software allows you to send customers a request for a review. And, it gives your customers options to post their reviews on several different review sites.

If they do post negative feedback, the system provides them with an option to post on review sites that people rarely visit to search for reviews. If customers leave positive reviews, the opposite happens, and they get sites such as Yelp and Facebook, thereby pushing your more positive reviews and comments to the top of the search engine listings.

  1. Be gentle with your responses.
    When you read a negative review about your business, it often leaves you fuming. Your anger is certainly just, but you don’t want to lose a customer or create a bad impression for others. You should pause to regain your composure, and then respond to the customer with kindness and sincerity: “We apologize about your bad experience with us. How may we fix the situation?” or “To make it up to you, we can offer you a discount on your next purchase with us.”

Think with your head and not your heart. Your heart will want to rip the bad reviewer’s comment to shreds, but your head will want you to maintain a good relationship with the customer.

  1. Think human, not robot.
    Put yourself in the shoes of the customer to see how you would like the company to handle the situation. When you draft a reply, make sure you put some human elements in the response. A robotic reply will not appease your customers and may only fuel their anger. Be as humane and sincere as possible with your responses.
  2. Reply to most reviews.
    If you are unable to respond to every review on the site, employ someone to do it. The reviews you shouldn’t reply to are those from people who seem inexplicably prejudice toward your business or those who are making unreasonable requests that you can’t fulfill. Train your employees to identify comments such as these and avoid responding. Also, instruct employees how to handle general complaints, such as accidentally charging someone too much for his or her food – perhaps by apologizing and giving the customer’s money back or offering a free meal.
  3. Make customer satisfaction your mission.
    Make customers your business’s top priority. Tell your employees that even if they have to go the extra mile to make sure a customer leaves satisfied, they should. Adopt customer satisfaction practices such as sending flowers, upgrading shipping or offering refunds. You can also tell your employees to think outside the box when trying to please customers. When your business focuses all their efforts on ensuring the happiness of its customers, reviewers are sure to celebrate the company’s customer-centric approach on review sites.

It’s difficult for businesses to keep track of everything being said about them on the Internet. But it’s critical to manage and control the reviews and complaints in order to protect your brand and reputation. Take control of your online reviews today with ReviewMaxer. This powerful, cloud-based software provides its users with a proactive review strategy to quickly and easily manage reviews and comments from more than 500 sites. Sign up for a free demo to see how the ReviewMaxer software works and read the blog for more tips and resources to protect your company’s reputation and strengthen your business.

 

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Paul Cook


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When customers are choosing between products, the one with the better reviews wins

With today’s technology, it’s easy for consumers to check online reviews before making a purchase. It’s no surprise that products with the better reviews get purchased and brands with the better reviews attract customers. For this reason, it’s crucial for you to motivate your customers to leave online reviews, thereby giving your company a competitive edge.

Often consumers are wary of marketing that claims best results. Online reviews give consumers real results and opinions about the products they’re considering purchasing.

How can online reviews impact a customer’s purchasing decisions?

When comparing purchase options, a customer is going to lean toward the brand that has more and better reviews. Consumers search for online reviews while shopping in store or online to help them make purchasing decisions. Reading independent personal reviews of how a product has benefitted others will motivate unsure buyers to make the final purchase.

How can I improve my brand’s online reputation?

It’s important for brands to establish and promote a positive reputation online to build trust with consumers. Brands are becoming more aware that their customers are interested in real-life results and personal recommendations. This has led to the increase of influencer marketing. Brands collaborate with social media influencers who have strong followings to test new products. These social media stars promote their honest opinions to their large audiences, which can then lead to increased awareness and sales. 

It’s important to manage online reviews about your products and brand to protect your company’s reputation and help grow your sales. By gaining positive online reviews, you raise your company’s ratings on review websites and increase your brand awareness to potential customers. ReviewMaxer is an easy tool for companies of all sizes to use. This powerful, cloud-based software provides a proactive strategy to efficiently manage online reviews and improve your ratings on review websites.

Watch this free demonstration to see how ReviewMaxer software works and read the ReviewMaxer blog for more tips!

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Amanda Murguido


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How does your business compare?

Use our free Review Scan to generate an instant reputation report and see how your business appears on local review sites.