One of the best ways to build a strong reputation for your business is by allowing customers to leave online reviews. The downside, though, is while positive reviews let potential customers know all the reasons why they should patronize your business, negative ones can have the opposite effect. The other problem is negative reviews are not always entirely factual. Disgruntled customers often use them while they are angry or upset, and it is easy for feelings to overshadow facts.
Today, more and more consumers are turning to the web to search reviews before making a purchase or visiting a place of business. Social influence’s impact on reader perceptions of online reviews is something well documented, so it is vital to ensure your business has the type of reputation you want it to have.
While a bad review isn’t the end of the world, trying to keep them to a minimum is just good business. Preventing negative reviews allows you to maintain a glowing online reputation, and it helps you build trust with current and prospective customers. It is always best to keep customers happy, and there are plenty of ways to do just that. Whether you buy t-shirts at wholesale price to customize and offer as freebies or you go the extra mile to help a customer overcome a problem, there are several affordable ways to keep bad reviews at bay.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
An excellent reputation begins with excellent customer service. In many situations, customers go online to leave negative reviews after trying to reach a resolution with the company and failing. When poor customer service leaves them feeling like they have nowhere else to turn, they leave public reviews to vent their frustration and attempt to get the company to solve the problem.
Treat your past, current, and prospective customers with courtesy and respect at all times. Provide prompt solutions to their problems, and work with them to resolve issues in a satisfactory manner. In many cases, bad reviews can be avoided by simply putting forth the effort to help your customer.
Be Easy to Contact
No matter how hard you try to ensure every customer has a flawless experience, problems will arise from time to time. No one is perfect, and even the best business owners and employees make mistakes. When trouble arises, being easy to contact could save your reputation from taking a hit from a bad review.
Every business needs to offer some form of customer service, and customers should be able to access it with ease. This is especially important if you run an online business and customers are unable to simply stop by a store or office. Make your phone number, email address, and/or online chat readily accessible and easy to find. When consumers are unable to figure out how to contact customer service, they are more likely to go online and leave a bad review.
Provide Prompt Responses
Making it easy for customers to locate your contact information is great. But if contacting you doesn’t get them a prompt response, you still run the risk of losing the customer or getting a bad review.
Your support team needs to be well-staffed and prepared to reply to customers quickly. Whether that means having a large enough support team to answer phone calls in minutes or hiring additional people to handle email inquiries, it is important to do whatever it takes to ensure unsatisfied customers are helped right away. If this is something your business struggles with, you may want to consider outsourcing customer service to a third party. In doing so, you can save money while reducing wait time for your customers.
Be Friendly When Helping Customers
When you are trying to avoid a negative review, it’s easy to get so caught up in solving the problem you forget to simply be friendly. Customer service isn’t just about solving problems, though. It is also about positively representing your business and making your customers feel valued. If you treat them with kindness and respect, it is usually possible to dispel any of the negative feelings they may feel toward your business. This, of course, reduces the likelihood of negative reviews.
It is always a good idea to go the extra mile, too. In addition to being friendly and personable when helping customers, come up with ways—like offering freebies—to further enhance satisfaction. For example, you could purchase polo shirts wholesale and customize them with your logo and give them to customers as a way of making amends. Doing more than the bare minimum is an excellent way to prevent bad reviews and encourage good ones.
Encourage All Customers to Leave Reviews
It’s common for people to only leave reviews when they have a problem. The intent behind this usually isn’t malicious, though. Many people simply do not think about leaving reviews unless they are unhappy with a business, product, or service. It’s human nature to want to warn others of potential problems. Unfortunately, singing a business’s praises doesn’t come as naturally to most people. When you directly ask for reviews, though, about 77 percent of consumers are more than happy to comply.
Asking your customers to leave reviews offers two benefits. Making the request tells customers you want their feedback and makes them feel like you will be inclined to provide a sufficient resolution to their problem, should one arise, to avoid receiving a negative.
Additionally, encouraging your customers to leave reviews means there will be plenty of positive ones to contradict any negative ones you may receive. It looks pretty bad if you only have five reviews and three of them are negative. Having three negative reviews out of 100 doesn’t seem so bad, though, does it?
In today’s business world, reviews are everything. Whether you are learning how to start a screen printing business or already run a successful online company, you need to take steps to build a strong online reputation. Even if you run a strictly brick-and-mortar business and don’t have a website or social media profile, you can bet there are reviews for your company somewhere on the web. Follow the suggestions above to ensure those reviews are positive ones.