Whether your business is big or small, its reputation is everything. It’s never been easier for a disgruntled customer to share their experience, thoughts and opinions. Where once customer experiences could only be shared by word of mouth, today those opinions can be shared on countless websites and with people around the world.
While superior customer service, a review acquisition strategy and responding to online reviews are all proven ways to manage your online reputation, avoiding bad reviews in the first place can make life a lot easier. Review these tips for ways to avoid bad reviews.
Tip 1: Keep the Lines of Communication Open. Some bad reviews can be avoided by actively communicating with your customers. After the sale, make an effort to call or email your customers to ensure they are happy with the product or service they received. By actively communicating with your customers, you can identify potential problems before they hit online review sites.
Tip 2: Be Open to Complaints. No person or business is perfect. Mistakes happen. Create a culture that is open to criticism and is responsive to customer needs. Train your employees to respond promptly to customer complaints and to provide solutions.
Tip 3: Provide a Place for Complaints on your Website. A simple form on your website that encourages customer feedback can make a world of difference. If your customers know you are willing to respond and work with them, they are less likely to run off to review sites to complain.
Tip 4: Monitor and Respond to Reviews Online. Every business must have a strategy for monitoring online review sites and responding to reviews, both good and bad. Many customers are willing to remove their negative review or post a follow up remark if you respond quickly to their concerns.
Tip 5: Don’t Ignore Bad Reviews. You’re proud of your business and a bad review hurts. As tempting as it might be to ignore the problem, a quick response is essential. Don’t make your customer sit and wait for your response. It won’t help the situation at all.
Tip 6: Don’t Create Fake Reviews. Fake reviews open you up to criticism and provide opportunities for your ethics to be questioned. While encouraging your customers to leave reviews is acceptable, writing them on behalf of your customers is not.
Tip 7: Win Over Your Competitors. It’s unfortunate, but true, competitor spam reviews are exceedingly common. Establishing connections and building relationships with your competitors can minimize your exposure to spam reviews.