The best brands know how to control the perceptions customers have of their company. Much of this control comes from following a well-developed brand strategy.
But you can’t control every aspect of brand perception. Exhibit A: Online reviews.
Even when you think you’re doing everything right, a negative review can catch you off guard. This can lead to a serious reputation problem, as 99% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase.
You cannot control when negative reviews come your way, but you can learn how to manage them better. Here are two strategies you can employ to get better at managing online reviews.
Respond to and Remediate Negative Reviews
The worst thing you can do with negative reviews is ignore them. A lack of response says you either don’t care about the customer’s experience, or you aren’t interested in ensuring a quality customer experience.
Be sure to respond to any review that is below four stars. Responding to negative reviews can help you understand what went wrong in the buyer’s journey. Chances are the customer ran into a fluke or oddity that caused them to leave a negative review. However, your investigation may actually reveal a larger systemic problem in the buyer’s journey that can lead to more negative reviews down the road.
Responding to negative reviews is also a sign of good faith. Other customers will see the effort you put into remediating poor reviews, which can build their confidence in your brand.
One more thing: Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. A few negative reviews can actually help your business, as most people don’t trust perfect 5-star reviews.
Encourage Positive Reviews Whenever Possible
Not many people leave positive reviews on their own accord—only about 5–10% of all customers. You really have to hit it out of the park if you want someone to leave a 5-star review without you asking them for it.
The two best actions you can take for managing customer reviews are to make it easy, and to incentivize.
- Make it easy: Use familiar review platforms to gather your review data. Google Reviews is a great option, as 63.6% of people use it before visiting a business location. You should also provide a simple path to get to your review site, be it a button on your website or in an email after the customer has made a purchase.
- Incentivize: “Leave us a review for a chance to win!” We’ve all seen these types of emails in our inboxes, and that’s because they actually work. A recent survey found that 73% of consumers would be motivated to write a review if they were offered an incentive.
Use Reviews to Your Advantage
There’s a lot more to discover about managing online reviews, but these two tips will help you get started down the right path toward better brand management. Get started with a review platform today, and take back control of your digital brand perception.