Companies should utilize consumer review websites as another opportunity to interact with their customers. Instead of sitting back and letting a bad review negatively impact your company’s credibility, you should be thinking of ways to proactively respond to the reviewer and address the problem. According to Lee Resource Inc., 95% of unhappy customers will return to your business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, many review sites offer companies opportunities to identify these unhappy customers and target them for re-engagement. And responding to customer reviews has long-tail benefits: 71% of consumers change their perception of a company after seeing it respond to a review, according to Bazaarvoice.

There are other advantages to negative reviews. According to a Reevoo study, 30% of readers suspect censorship or fake reviews when all reviews are positive. In addition, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both positive and negative reviews. Having a few negative reviews humanizes your brand and signals to buyers that the reviews aren’t fake or being filtered. That being said, who wants to look bad? Especially in business!

Consumers today can purchase anything they desire with just a mouse click. With the evolution of online review sites such as Yelp, Bing and Google, they also have access to many sources of information about the products and services they are looking for. Online reviews are becoming increasingly important power players in the competition for commerce, seemingly taking on personalities of their own. Some companies, such as Sears, are even taking a humorous approach to these upcoming celebrity characters, with spoofs such as this one:

Whatever your business’ approach to tackling negative online reviews, one thing is imperative: you must have a plan! Without a strategic course of action, you will miss out on these opportunities to interact with consumers, or even worse, leave them with an unfavorable opinion and a multitude of platforms for disseminating it.
To speak with a SmartRep expert about how to best manage your company’s online review strategy, call 561-688-8155 today, or visit us at www.ThinkSmartRep.com.

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