Everyone has seen some form of these: A negative review on the restaurant you planned to attend that night. Or a two-star Google rating for a hotel you’re thinking about booking for your next vacation.
Do those negative reviews play a big factor in your decision?
According to a 2017 study from BrightLocal, a search engine optimization and internet marketing business, 40 percent of respondents said they’d stay away from a business after reading a negative review.
Online reviews are important for your brand — both good and bad. Oftentimes, they are the first impression of your business for a customer, essentially negating any marketing you’ve done to that point. To make them work for you, here are three easy-to-implement tips.
Encourage reviews when necessary
The more reviews, the better. According to the BrightLocal study, the average consumer won’t trust a business’s star rating unless it has at least 34 reviews. Your first focus should be on ensuring customer satisfaction, but if that’s in place, don’t be afraid to ask for an online review.
You can ask through email, a link on your website or in person. The only website where asking for a review isn’t permissible is Yelp, but you can alternatively ask customers to simply visit your Yelp page.
You may be worried that asking for a review is inviting bad ratings, but if you’re upholding a quality standard, you should have nothing to worry about.
Respond to the bad to receive good
Inevitably, there will come a time when you do receive a bad review. Not everyone can be pleased, and as long as it’s not part of a larger trend, it shouldn’t be too worrisome. A bad review can actually be an opportunity.
Take the time to respond and fix the problem. Not only may this help the complainant’s view of your business, it will also be visible for anyone who searches you. While searchers will see the negative review of your business, they will also see a sincere attempt to rectify the issue. That could make a difference in their decision.
Use them to improve your business and marketing
If you’re receiving multiple negative reviews about the same issue, it might be time to look inward. You can use these reviews to improve a product or service and ultimately improve your business.
You can also turn around and use reviews as prompts for online content. For example, if you run a restaurant and a customer complains their food wasn’t promptly delivered, you can write an article about why that’s the case — your cooking techniques, ensuring high quality, etc. On the other side of the coin, positive reviews can be proudly displayed on your website, allowing potential customers to see good things that happen at your business.
Online reviews can be scary because they are out of your control, but your response and what you do with them will help your business succeed.