Don't Fear the Reviewer
Businesses have used the web to help generate growth in a variety of ways. Though it provides businesses with increased marketing opportunities and exposure, the Internet also provides multiple outlets for online customer reviews, which can be anything but helpful depending on how you use them. Angie’s list, Yelp, Ripoff Report, and Google reviews are just a few of the many places where happy or disgruntled customers can share their opinions with anyone and everyone.
If you have ever written or read any customer reviews you know, they can be pretty extreme. In my personal experience, the only time I think about writing a review is when I have a bad experience or a truly excellent one. No one writes a review to say, it was good…just as I expected it to be.
The trick is to take these sometime negative reviews as constructive criticism, and use them to open a dialogue with your customer and to improve.
However, some businesses are afraid of the Internet and of the change it will bring and instead of using the comments to their benefit, they delete them so no one else will see. This not only diminishes the amount of trust consumers will have for your company, but it’s pointless. If someone has written a bad review of your company on a review site, you can bet they posted it on their Facebook page, tweeted about it, and quite old-school, told everyone who would listen.
Truth is, according to a recent article in forbes.com only 25% of online consumers report not purchasing something because of the negative reviews. Allowing people to voice their opinions, using them to have a conversation with your customer, and taking those opinions to heart will result in a higher customer turnaround rating and an overall better business.
So don’t be afraid to welcome comments and take heed to what people are saying about your business on the web!