The rise of platforms like Facebook, Yelp and Google has made it easier for prospects to know more about the companies they want to do business with. By simply checking the reviews of your company on any of these platforms, a prospect can determine whether to buy your product, continue researching or leave you and head over to your competitor.
92% of people indicate they trust recommendations from friends or another users. In todayâ€™s world, these recommendations are in the form of Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews, tweets, blog reviews or Google Maps reviews. Businesses that have no reviews or, even worse, negative ones lose many sales opportunities.
Cost of Bad Reviews
Bad reviews, whether real or from trolls, can cost you about 30% of your business. Apart from this, you may have to spend even more on legal fees.
A report by Telegraph indicates that UK businesses spend between USD 13,000 to USD 40,000 per year to manage bad reviews. These fees are spent in different areas, including hiring third party reputation management agencies, in-house social media employees and legal fees. For instance, Pimplico Plumbers spent USD 66,095 in 2014 in a court battle with Yelp to get negative reviews removed.
For businesses, it is crucial to have a positive online reputation to reach sales targets. To do this, taking an active role in customer reputation management is important.
Your audience is talking about your business on Facebook, Twitter, forums and other social networking sites. You need to stay in the loop to find out what is being said about you company. Knowing what customers are saying can help you position your brand to reach their expectations, convert more prospects to customers, and prevent complaints from damaging your brand.
How to Handle Bad Reviews
No matter how hard you try, there will always be that customer who will be unsatisfied with your service. You may try all tricks you know; giving a free product, replacing defective product, offering a discount and so on but the customer remains discontented.
A bad review from such a customer wonâ€™t really hurt your business as long as you have many positive reviews. In fact, a single bad review will instill more trust in your business as people understand and even expect not everyone will be satisfied with your offer.
The key to ensuring a positive online reputation for your business is to keep your current customers happy and take care of any recently unhappy ones. Address negative reviews in a positive manner. For instance, you can express your regret that a customer was not happy with your service and offer a remedy right there in the review. Handling the review in this manner will dilute it to the benefit of your business.
Apart from this, make sure you are providing impeccable service so that your positive reviews outnumber the negative ones.
Ajay Prasad is a serial entrepreneur, a business strategist, and a healthcare marketing expert with almost three decades of experience. He is the founder and CEO of RepuGen. He has built this innovative reputation management software from scratch, incorporating multifaceted artificial intelligence (AI) which has allowed for rapid growth, maximum outreach and a 95% user satisfaction rate.