Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Must Respond to those Reviews

We talked about your reputation online, now lets talk about those negative reviews and how you should be handling them.  Negative reviews may bring you feelings of dread and the thought of lost business, but if you handle negative reviews correctly they may actually garner you respect from prospective customers, differentiate you from your competition and drive revenue.

To insure that you get the right response every time,  here are “5 Things You Should Think About Before Responding to Negative Reviews:”

1)      Be Empathetic And Don’t Get Defensive: No matter how wrong the customer might be or how badly you feel the urge to clarify that the customer is the one at fault – don’t do it. Avoid an online battle royal at all cost. An online back and forth with a customer will cost you countless leads. So when you respond, always be empathetic and use language to convey that you “understand” how the customer feels.
2)      Engage The Customer – If you are not entirely sure what the complaint is about then engage the customer for more feedback about why they were dissatisfied. Ask them to call or visit with your business so you can get specifics on how you can make their experience more enjoyable and how you can make amends with the customer.

3)      Create A Personal Dialogue – When you respond to customer reviews you want to sound like a real person. Too many companies make the mistake of responding to extremely personal reviews with a 1994 sterile press release-esque response. Be professional BUT be personal. Everyone has a bad day, even businesses, and people understand that. So be real, honest, and yourself. Authentic and personal responses to negative reviews will do wonders for building your brand online.

4)      Know When To Say When - There are just some customers and some situations that you aren’t going to be able to help, such as a customer who demands that you let an employee go. Be honest in your response and open that there are just some requests you can’t accept. While your dissatisfied customer may not be able to accept this, potential customers reading your response will.

5)      Refund, Discount, Or Free Offer – The goal for any business owner when dealing with a dissatisfied customer should be to get them back into the business so that the customer can see the error of their ways and change their negative review or at least post a new, positive one. To get them back into the store offer a refund, discount, or free offer when you respond to them. The small amount of money you spend on a special offer for a dissatisfied customer may save you thousands in lost revenue.

So to start with you need to find out if you are getting bad reviews’ online and you need to monitor the internet constantly for those bad reviews.  Get started by getting  a free report on how your business reputation is doing by going to -

PS: Oh and don't forget to occasionally respond to those good reviews as well!  Thank them, let them know you are listening and that you really do care what they are saying about you online!

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