The digital age that we live in is riddled by word of mouth referrals and online reviews. Before a customer even considers purchasing from your shop, they're online, researching your entire digital footprint - including any of those pesky negative reviews.
This means that the way your customers perceive your brand, could make or break your next sale. In fact, 86% of people will hesitate before buying from a company with bad reviews. At Interparcel, we live and breathe stellar customer service. With over a million packages flying across the sky at any given time, we've dealt with the good, the bad and the ugly.
In this article, we'll teach you how to set up your brand for a win, and how to handle negative reviews when they do come in.
Monitor online chatter/mentions
People react to a bad brand experience in a lot of ways, some knock straight on the door, and others will leave a nasty comment on your social channels, review sites, microblogs and blogs and forums. Monitoring the buzz from all channels, and responding to the good and the bad is what will allow you to manage your brand perception online. Many brands use social listening tools like Google Alerts or a social media aggregator like Hootsuite to manage multiple social media channels at one time.
PRO TIP: This is also a great way to source potential content and product ideas and backlinking opportunities. If you're finding that customers are constantly having an issue with something on your site, write about it.
Educate your customer service team on response policies
Trolls are constantly lurking in dark corners and underneath the proverbial bridge. You'll need to devise policies and procedures when dealing with reviews and feedback from your community. These policies could include:
- Direct communication
- Professional conduct
- Keeping everyone in the know
- Establish a feedback loop for your business
These points should also be in your Social Media Guidelines.
Decide what warrants a response
As a business owner, you're no stranger to negative feedback and reviews. It's a normal part of business that someone, somewhere will not like something. But, it's important to note that not every comment warrants a response, but every comment should be seen and acknowledged by someone in your customer service team. By that, we mean every online mention or tag needs to be monitored by someone.
There are a few tenets of customer service when it comes to dealing with online comments.
- Don't argue
- Respond quickly and be ready to apologise (even if you don't think it was your fault)
- Always ask your customer to deal with the issue privately (don't air your dirty laundry)
- Don't ignore your customers comments
- Always have outlined responses ready for particular known issues, but add a human touch to every response. Knowing how to respond to certain situations is the first step
- Never delete comments or reviews
Generate more positive reviews
Sounds easier than it is right? It takes a lot of positive reviews to drown out a negative review - 10-12 positive reviews, in fact. The more reviews you have the better. In fact, studies have shown that 1 review can increase conversion rate by 10% and 100 reviews can increase conversion by 37%. You just need to ask at the right moments of interaction with your brand. You can call these triggers. These triggers could be:
- After a customer service call
- A month after a sale, or re-purchase
- After an event
You'll want to work this feedback loop into your marketing activity, You could even create an incentive to write a review. This could be a discount or a gift card. Start asking for reviews now, because the more you ask the more you'll get and the better your business will look.
Establish yourself on multiple review sites
Review sites often appear at the top of search results. Some love Google , others love Facebook, Yelp or Glassdoor. Make sure that you have a presence on every review site, so that your customers have a chance to share their experiences.
There are few well-known review sites that hold alot of authority when it comes to consumer decisions. It's important to select the best review sites for your industry, and double down:
- Product Review
- Google My Business
Bottom line? When you appear on more review sites, your reviews become more visible and accessible to potential customers.
Add social proof to your website
You may have noticed that most websites, these days, feature customer testimonials on their homepage (above the fold). There are a few different types of social proof that you can use in your marketing:
Statements in any of these categories endorsing your product or serivce is a proven method of influencing your customers and boosting your conversion rates.