Last week we posted an article about managing your online reputation. No matter what kind of business you operate, if you have a presence on the Internet, there will be users talking about you. It is important to monitor the conversations about your brand, and it is also important to know how to respond to and prevent negative feedback.
One of the best ways for preventing negative feedback is to encourage positive reviews from your happiest customers. In this new mobile era, customers rely on online reviews before making a purchase decision more than ever. If a customer searches online for one of your products, a positive review could take them that final step before deciding to give you their business. Your happiest customers might create positive reviews without any encouragement. But besides your most loyal following, how can you get positive reviews?
Don’t be afraid to ask. It can never hurt to simply ask your customers to leave a positive review. If you manage an online store, this can be a very simple process. For example, after a customer orders something from your website, include a link that invites them to write a review for that product. Even if only a fraction of your customers follow through on it, that is still more than you started with. The only time it can hurt to ask is if you do it too much, for example through email, where customers may consider it spam.
Publish your customers’ reviews. There may be third-party websites that also have reviews for your business, but a good way to show your customers that you care about what they have to say is to allow reviews on your own website – even the negative ones. If there are negative reviews, you can reach out directly to alleviate any problems that a particular customer has, and future customers will see that you work hard to make their experience more enjoyable.
Use social media. As more and more small and medium businesses are establishing social media pages, more and more customers will start turning to them to see what other users are saying. Make sure you are monitoring the conversations about your brand in social media, and if you come across someone saying positive things, ask them if they would like to write a more official review. As always, if there are negative comments, you would want to reach out to those customers as well.
Customer reviews can go a long way towards establishing a positive online reputation, or course-correcting an existing negative reputation. Take advantage of the good things customers have to say about your business –and correct the negative things – and you will attract more customers.
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