Customer reviews are a big part of modern-day business. In 2021 the current pandemic is pushing more and more customers online, coupled with the year-on-year rise of online shopping. Diligent shoppers check reviews before making a purchase, and they can have a significant influence on someone’s buying decision. Reviews can be a pivotal part of customer engagement, both pre and post-purchase.
Both positive and negative reviews are crucial for a business. As much as you should appreciate and promote your positive reviews, it’s also just as important to know how to respond to negative reviews. Here we’ll outline why it’s so critical to respond to your customer reviews, no matter what.
To build brand loyalty
You should be responding to every single customer who leaves you a review. This will show your customers that you care about everything they have to say. Show them that you value their positive feedback and constructive criticism. Many companies make the mistake of only responding to negative reviews. If you only respond to negative reviews, then customers may start to believe that you do not place any value on positive customer feedback. This can lead to consumers assuming you only care about your reputation and improving your reviews online.
Just a simple ‘Thanks so much for your great review!’ is enough to show your customers you care. Talk specifics if the customer raved about a particular item or service; make sure to mention it in your response. Engaging customers who already love your business is such a great way to create a loyal following. Boosting your retention rates has been shown to have a massive impact on your bottom line.
To highlight your amazing customer service
Responding to reviews in a timely and professional manner highlights to everyone what they can expect from your overall customer service. Fast and efficient responses to every review substantiates your trustworthiness and excellent service. This can be the difference between someone buying from you or not.Even when things go wrong, and you have to reply to negative reviews, acting quickly and trying to resolve issues can save you from losing valuable customers as well as future prospects.
To manage your online reputation
Customers have the freedom to write whatever they want about your business online. So, it’s essential that you gain a certain level of control over your brand image and reputation. Therefore, by responding to reviews, you are able to represent your business and present a balanced view. It shouldn’t be a case of trying to score points against the customer. Instead, you should listen to their feedback and provide a measured reply. Responding to negative reviews can best be described as not managing your brand’s reputation but rather marketing your brand via your responses.
To turn a negative situation into a positive
Replying to negative reviews is also an excellent opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Don’t play the blame game. Customers may blame you for a fault in the product or a delay that was caused by a supplier, or external factors beyond your realm of control. Naming and shaming them and removing responsibility from yourself will not put you in the best light to the reviewer.
A sincere apology and a simple explanation of what went wrong can offer a more personal and relatable approach. We all make mistakes, and customers are more likely to forgive you if you are honest about it. You could consider offering a free product or a discount as an apology. If you manage to win the customer round, that’s a huge positive for your customer retention. It also demonstrates your great customer service to potential buyers.
To convince potential customers
It’s interesting to note that 67% of B2B buyers want to see a blend of both positive and negative feedback when researching a business. Customers will actively seek out negative reviews and use this as a test to see how the company will perform if something goes wrong. Customers are getting more online savvy and know what to look out for when doing review research. If they see that you have gone above and beyond in turning unhappy customers into happy ones, then this can be just as powerful as a five-star review.
Responding to customer reviews is more critical now than ever. The lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic include the ever-growing shift in people buying online. Surrounded by competing businesses and customer reviews, people will use all the information available to make their buying decisions. Think about both your existing and potential customers when it comes to replying to customer reviews. Use the opportunity of responding to reviews to focus on your positives and sincerely work on fixing the negatives. Crucially, buyers will value both your attentiveness to positive reviews and how you handle negative reviews.