How to Help Clients Turn Tricky Trolls into Positive Reviews
October 19, 2018 | Contributed by: Kelly Shelton
The Halloween season has scares to spare, but nothing probably sends chills down a client’s spine like a monstrously bad online review.
What can you do to take the fright out of a customer’s negative response for your small business clients? We can show you!
Why Reviews Matter So Much for Businesses
Online reviews are tremendously important for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses, however, they may hold the key to survival. These days, people instinctively hop online when they want to know more about a company, and they take to heart the reviews others leave behind.
Good reviews help a business inspire confidence and trust. At least 91% of consumers check online reviews regularly and 84% of them trust those reviews as much as they would a review from a friend. In addition, reviews help with local search marketing by boosting visibility.
Naturally, negative reviews can cause potential customers to turn away from a business. Around 94% of consumers claim that negative reviews about a company have influenced them to take their business elsewhere.
Those kinds of figures can be downright horrifying for a client — but they only tell part of the story.
How Negative Reviews Can Actually Help a Business Succeed
While a negative review is never something to aspire to, it’s realistically not always possible to please everybody — no matter how hard a business tries.
So, first of all, reassure your clients that an occasional negative review is normal and nothing to be feared. In fact, an occasional negative review can actually help a business thrive. Here’s 3 reasons how:
1. Negative reviews show authenticity and encourage trust
Consumers today are a wary bunch. Consumer confidence in brands has fallen pretty low in recent years. Because of the proliferation of fake reviews, consumers are often suspicious of companies with reviews that all seem too good to be true.
A few lukewarm reviews or a negative review interspersed among mostly glowing reviews demonstrates authenticity. Viewers may consider what the bad review says, but they’re also going to see those happy reviews as well.
2. Negative reviews give companies a chance to engage directly with consumers
Consumers are turned off by the idea of faceless corporations that don’t have a human side. Negative reviews give your clients a great opportunity to connect with current and potential customers alike through a personal response.
Consider this: 80% of consumers feel like a business that responds to their reviews cares more about them than a business that doesn’t. So, even if a business can’t make that one customer entirely happy, a response demonstrates the fact that someone is listening and actually cares what customers are saying.
3. Negative reviews offer an opportunity to demonstrate great customer service
Your clients should always keep in mind that negative reviews — when they’re fair — are tools. They alert business owners that something is wrong with the way the company is operating — which is a gift because it allows that business to correct the problem for the future.
Even more importantly, they give your clients a chance to show off their fantastic customer service. If a business replies to a negative review with empathy and honesty — and a willingness to make things right when it is appropriate — that will create a lasting impression on everyone who sees it.
How to Avoid Negative Customer Reviews in the First Place
Research indicates that customers are 21% more inclined to leave reviews after a negative experience than they are a positive one — and that’s a little terrifying. No business wants their online perception to be negatively skewed.
Encourage your clients to see obviously dissatisfied customers as an opportunity. If your clients manage the situation properly, there’s a chance that customers will go on to become one of the company’s best advocates. Unhappy customers who are pleased by a company’s response to their complaints may ultimately become more loyal — and more vocal — than a merely satisfied customer.
Businesses need to respond to noticeably unhappy customers in the following ways:
- Acknowledge the complaint and the customer’s feelings. Make the customer feel heard and ask questions to understand the feedback better.
- Take responsibility. Accountability equals credibility.
- Go overboard to make things right. Even if something isn’t technically the company’s fault, the resulting goodwill the company can gain by exceeding the customer’s expectations may be worth a small loss.
Key Things to Remember
Every unhappy customer is a gift.
Your clients can manage most unhappy customers and avoid negative online reviews in the first place. When negative reviews do happen (and they will happen), it still isn’t a crisis — as long as they aren’t constantly repeating the same complaints. Companies can use the feedback they get to make improvements, demonstrate authenticity and humanize their brand.