Did you know that buyers do read the reviews about your company on the Internet? According to the research conducted by BrightLocal in 2014, it became clear that 88% of people read the reviews in order to check the quality of service or product. This percentage of “verifiers” is strictly increasing – in 2013 the proportion of people reading reviews was 85%.
Only one in every ten potential customers ignores the recommendations of other people. Online reviews are equated with personal recommendations of friends and the “word of mouth”. And this is good news! After all, it becomes an effective channel for advertising.
According to the research by BrightLocal in 2014, 88% of people read the reviews before buying, 39% read them constantly and 12% do not read reviews at all. In the end, the conclusion is simple – 39% of your customers buy your product only after reading comments and reviews from other users.
People attach great importance to the reviews in the networks. And if a number of buyers “jump all over” your product, then about a third of potential customers will “fall off” after reading the negative comments.
What should you do?
Build a powerful reputation management strategy! Do not turn a blind eye to the reviews – you have to keep track of your online reputation. Marketers should remember that:
- the potential customer should find at least 10 reviews about the company on the Internet;
- reviews should be fresh.
And what’s the hitch?
It would seem that keeping watch over online recommendations is as easy as shelling peas. It is enough to hire out a group of people and let them write… But:
- Buyers want the truth.
- Buyers need quality.
- Buyers need a lot of feedback.
About 45% of respondents who read reviews, claimed that they trust only truthful and realistic reviews. And the other part of the respondents does not take into account the recommendations if they are few.
Therefore, you won’t be able to deceive the buyer – they want the truth and nothing but the truth. Believe me, it has long been known that there are lots of corrupt and fake recommendations on the internet. And these are met with nothing but derision.
To gain the trust and loyalty of customers, it is necessary to attract good reviews by means of fine products and service. Quality is the best assistant in this case.
But what if you do a good job, but people still say bad things about your company? These may be competitors, or your unpopularity (especially at the beginning of business development). It also happens that users write reviews under the influence of emotions. What should you do in this case?
Experts’ top tips
The marketing communication professionals advise paying attention to the growing negativity in the network in time. One of them provided an example of the laundry whose management was very picky about the complaints book – doing surveys, eliminating customer dissatisfaction – person-to-person. But they haven’t got down to respond to the online reviews.
And in the end, the marketers faced with the fact that by following a request “reviews about the company” in the search engines, the top 10 resources showed a large number of negative feedback.
Even 1% of dissatisfied customers (this is to be expected in the service sector) can cause serious problems for the online reputation. If 10 in every 1000 request clients are dissatisfied with something, there will be 300 of them over the course of a month. Within the order of 10% of customers write complaints on the internet, i.e. about 30 of them will write negative reviews. And that’s just in a month. Thus, seo reputation management should become an evitable part of your business.
If the situation has reached a deadlock, it is necessary to reduce technically the number of negative reviews and references to them in the search results. Potential customers do not use special programs for monitoring the company’s reputation.
So, the first step is to restore online reputation through working upon the research results. Most of the people do not go further than 3 first search hits. You can use special monitoring programs for this purpose, for example, IQBuzz, Opiner, YouScan.
If you didn’t care about your online reputation before, then start with the analysis of information about the brand on the Internet. The first thing that any of our clients receives is so-called “heat map” of research results on key requests in Google. This summary table contains the links to the references, dates, reviews, screenshots, and their classification by type: negative are marked in red, positive – in green, and neutral – in gray “.
This system helps to find out what exactly and where the customers wrote about the company.
When the information is “digested”, proceed to process reviews. In a loose sense, it should be done in the following way:
- For the positive feedback – say thank you on behalf of the company, encourage to use your service again.
- For the negative reviews – work individually.
Example: the person writes that he was dismissed for just one mistake. The company did not deny the facts, but told directly – the employee had refused to make an effort to cope with the problem, and for the company, it was important to maintain a high level of service.
Use “The Eat Crow” Method
This is the method widely used by search engine reputation management professionals. When dealing with negative feedback it is important not to deny the negative experience, and to explain why there happened such an oversight, you should not to work with objections, but agree – truth is not born of arguments, and arguments only waste your energy. After admitting “yes, this draw-back took place”, the company would be able to go further in the discussion – why it had happened.
Through the example of laundry: the jacket fabric lost its quality and visual appearance after dry-cleaning. Yes, it is true. But:
- The customer had cut the tag with maintenance advice and the workers didn’t get it right as the fabric was unique, not intended for dry cleaning.
- Laundry employee made a mistake.
There should be no denying of the facts, there is a discussion of the situation and the conclusions drawn from it. This way the client will see that there are real people on the other side of the screen, the people who represent the company. They can make mistakes, but do not do it due to their negligence or lack of respect for the client.
If in the above example the person recognizes, for example, that he removed the tag and did not specify the particular tissue, then it is possible… to make peace with him. And offer him to change the review to a neutral one or delete it. And also provide a small discount on the subsequent service or deliver his clean clothes for free.
But if the one who made a mistake was the employee, you should be honest about it and make an apology – both moral and material. For example, return the money and clean some other things for free.
What else is important
There are two important points in the work of monitoring and responding to the feedback – these are the experience and efficiency. It is clear that it would be hardly relevant to answer to the complaint after 3 months from the date of its appearance in the client’s mind and online. You need to monitor this constantly and keep in touch with the customers.
When a marketer communicates with users online, it is necessary to adhere to the principle of maximum respect for dissatisfied customers.
What are Customer Feedback Platforms
We can divide customer feedback platforms into three types:
- Type 1 – customers and businesses communicate directly, but you cannot delete the feedback. Reviews are arranged by date, fresh appear at the top of the page. In this case, by after communicating with customers the negative review can be transformed into a neutral or positive one.
- Type 2 – if the review is not real, a negative feedback can be removed with the consent of moderator, and if it’s a true one – you should work with the client.
- Type 3 – the platforms where companies cannot change the customer’s feedback in any way. The old reviews are usually located at the top in there – their authors are unlikely to make contact with the company. But the negative reviews still demand to be heeded: they should be displaced further in the search results.
Do not remove the negative feedback fanatically!
You should not remove negative feedback – it also affects the reputation of the brand. You need to work with the dissatisfied customer. If a person sees that his complaint was removed, he will be even more upset and write 10 more complaints… at other websites.
How to confirm authenticity? Request customer data – order number, date and name. Assure that you want to understand the situation: to punish the guilty personnel, make compensation, etc. If the client who wrote a review “dashes away” after such a request or cannot provide necessary information, it is clear that the review was “paid-for”. In this case, you should address the administration of this particular Customer Feedback Platform.
Remember that when working with online reputation, you have a possibility to interact with the customers that will help you to analyze your work and rectify mistakes, develop and improve the service and manufacturing. In the age of the feedback, it is not wise not to take advantage of such a tool for business development.