You’re upset. Your website traffic is dissipating and your star rating is dropping. You are anxious to make some positive changes, but you’re not sure where to start. Those negative reviews are hanging over your head like a dark cloud.
Here’s a little sunshine for you: you can fix this! Your online reviews may feel completely out of your control–you can’t force customers to say nice things and you’re not going to stoop to buying Yelp reviews–but there is a lot that you can fix if you are willing to take matters into your own hands.
Let’s talk about 4 ways you can improve your website reviews, by taking the little steps that make a big difference.
1. Respond to Negative Website Reviews (and the Positive ones too!)
Probably the scariest obstacle you’re facing is negative website reviews online. It’s hard not to take it personally and it seems like there’s no getting rid of it.
Start by turning a negative into a positive. The best practice is to respond to the angry customer in a public setting, on the review website if possible. You may think it would be more personal or effective to respond in a private email or to call the customer directly. However, 78% of online reviewers said that they actually trusted a business more when they saw them respond to online reviews.
So make sure you are taking the time to politely respond to negative feedback. Don’t get defensive. Never blame the customer. Be as generous as possible. It’s important to be prompt in your responses, though you don’t want to come off as defensive or self-righteous. If you need to take some time to cool off before drafting your response, err on the side of caution.
When you do reply, be understanding and offer a refund or reparation when possible. Try to resolve the issue before you post your response. You will find that some customers are even willing to change their website review if they feel that their complaint has been addressed.
And while you’re at it, take a minute to respond to your positive reviewers! A quick “Thank You” or “Hope to see you again soon!” will show potential customers that you’re not only focused on putting out fires, but you’re attentive to loyal customers as well.