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How to: Managing online reviews

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If you own a store, online reviews can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have plenty of positive reviews, this can be great. However, one negative review can have a major impact on your business. Whether you like it or not, reviews are here to stay and companies can’t avoid them. 

There are dozens of review sites all over the internet and managing all of these can be complicated. But you can use this new business dynamic to bring out the best result by turning review systems into an effective marketing strategy. Here are some ways to do that.  

Good products and customer service 

The first and most obvious step is to provide good products and customer service. Focusing on the kind of products you are delivering and treating your customers properly will help minimise the chance of receiving negative feedback. Mystery shoppers can be a good way for a business to g

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auge their services from a customers’ perspective.  

If you or your staff notice a customer with a problem, try to address it immediately. These situations can be a great opportunity to win customer loyalty. If you can fix their problem quickly and professionally, you may very well see their complain turn into a compliment. 

Ask for reviews 

Encourage your customers to provide feedback. Pick the right time to do ask, like when you’ve noticed a customer is particularly happy with doing business with you. Don’t forget to ask in a polite, no-pressure kind of way. It’s also easy to ask them through an email. Other companies offer incentives to customers who will leave a review on their site or any review platform.  

Expect to receive negative reviews too. Even with the most careful approach, there will always be mistakes that can cause poor customer service and belligerent customers. Don’t take this personally, remember that these reviews can provide learning opportunities that can help improve the business 

Reply to every review 

 Reply to all reviews, good and bad. Companies tend to overlook good reviews by simply reading and not responding to themResponding to good reviews can help you to build rapport with your customer base. Add a personal touch to every reply, this way you can make your customer feel special while bringing attention to good customer service.  

Don’t be afraid to address bad online reviews. Many businesses fear negative reviews thinking it may drive potential customers away. Fortunately, there are certain ways to manage negative reviews that can help to turn the situation to your advantage. 

Manage negative reviews 

Nobody wants to receive a negative review. If you have received some, consider whether it’s best to respond publicly or privately. Apologise to the customer and then ask them for the full details. Let them express their dissatisfaction and then talk to them about potential solutions. It might be easy and cheap to fix and if done the right way may turn them into a devoted customer. 

 

Some customers can be unreasonable and, in some instances, may even be lying. If this is the case, it may be best to politely say that you can’t help them and wish them well. If a customer’s behaviour is exceptionally poor, you can address this publicly on the review site and list their negative behaviour. Be aware that this tactic comes with a risk. It could backfire and make your business look even worse. It should only be attempted when a customer has overstepped their boundaries and you have evidence for it. Ensure that you always stay polite and professional. 

 

Reviews are now such an important part of how customers make their decision. Businesses can take advantage of this but should also be careful with their approach. If done properly, online reviews can create new opportunities and will help grow and improve your company.

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Kim Fernandez

Kim Fernandez is a content lead and a writer. She is very passionate about retail, marketing, operations and technology. A writer by day and a reader at night, she takes pleasure in acquiring new knowledge. She’s an experienced researcher and advertising executive. In an alternate universe, she is a professional model.

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