Customer reviews are an important aspect of expanding the online reputation of a business. Most people report their buying decisions are influenced by online customer reviews, but encouraging reviews of your business can be a double-edged sword when you receive negative feedback online. The staff at American Tri-Star, a leading provider of San Diego commercial insurance, has put together a list of some of the most important dos and don’ts when responding to customer reviews.
Do: Remain Professional
There are no limits to what you might face in reviews, including attacks on your character and profanity-filled comments. While it may be difficult to accept this treatment, always remain calm and professional when responding to any reviews.
Do: Conduct an Investigation
It’s a good idea to find out whether customer complaints have merit by conducting your own internal investigation. Sometimes complaints do have merit and demonstrate there is a problem within your business that requires action. In this case, reviews can help you uncover customer service, technical, or other issues you can address to enhance the experience for future customers.
Do: Acknowledge Reviews
Customers appreciate an acknowledgement. When someone leaves a review, let them know you are paying attention by clicking the “like” button or responding with a simple “Thank you.” While you can’t respond to every review, one study found that a 40 percent reply rate to reviews can have a positive impact on a company’s reputation and customer relationships.
Do: Make It Easy to Leave Reviews
Your business is unlikely to get many reviews if you don’t have profiles on review sites. Take the time to set up profiles on relevant sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Local, CitySearch, and Trustpilot to make it easy for customers to find you. These sites also allow you to share more information about your business, respond directly to customer reviews, and build your online reputation.
Don’t: Ignore Negative Reviews
Every business faces negative reviews. Don’t ignore them or dismiss the review. Sometimes a polite apology is the right course of action. Never respond with emotions, arguments, or insults. While you shouldn’t feel the need to defend yourself, it may be acceptable to give an apology and state the facts, especially if you feel the negative review is unfair and contrary to what happened. If the issue was something your business did wrong, respond to the review with an apology and steps you have taken to correct it.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Ask for Reviews
Reviews are an important part of building an online reputation and bringing in new customers. There’s no harm in asking your customers to leave a review, as long as you aren’t aggressive. One study found that most customers will happily review a business if asked to, but few are even asked. There are many ways to ask your customers to leave reviews. In-person requests tend to be the most effective, but you can also place a small sign near the checkout. Yelp offers downloadable banners with direct links to review profiles. Customers can scan the banner with their smartphones to easily leave a review.
If you need reliable insurance for your business, reach out to American Tri-Star today. We also provide affordable health, bond, and car insurance in San Diego. Call 619-272-2100, and one of our friendly representatives would be happy to give you a free quote.