Your goal is to become a 5-star business. You want to offer exceptional customer service every time. When we go shopping, we even read online reviews to research a restaurant we have never patronized or a new product we are interested in buying. We want to know they offer good service and quality products. We want to know about their business reputation and online reviews.
As a business owner, it is not critical that you earn perfect reviews. If you are trying to avoid negative online reviews, then you are missing the opportunity that is involved.
A negative online review can help you in unexpected ways and knowing how to respond can be invaluable to customer retention.
Consumers look for online reviews and allow the reviews to help them to make a decision. A family member or friend would serve as word-of-mouth publicity. They would even share how a business dealt with their concerns or issues. Now, this has been replaced with online reviews. 68% of US Shoppers depend on trustworthy online reviews over friends and family.
A real issue is fake or paid reviews on many social media platforms. Not everyone will question primarily positive reviews, however for some this will stick out for some. If everything sounds great, then your business does not seem legitimate. Having a mix of reviews increases others purchasing your goods or service. The negative online review turns into an opportunity to increase sales. A product having five or more reviews is 270% more likely to land a customer than a product with no reviews.
Poor customer service can cost you customer retention. Customer service is more than just helping your customers spend money on your products, but ensuring the process is smooth before, during, and after the purchase. Many customers will never use a business again after they do not respond to complaints well. It is up to five times cheaper to maintain a customer than picking up a new customer.
A negative online review allows you to show your human side. This can show that a real person runs your small business. Responding to positive reviews shows your appreciation for your customers, responding to negative reviews shows your humanity. It allows you to show your care and concern for your customers customer service experience. When new or potential customers see your humanity, it will make them feel comfortable in doing business with you.
While showing your human side in business, the negative online review may highlight an area of needed improvement that you may have overlooked. Customer satisfaction is at all time high; especially with most shopping experiences being completely virtual. One way businesses stay ahead of the curve is to offer customer surveys. This allows you to see the negative reviews before they possibly make it to a social media platform. You can use the information to improve your customer experience.