The phrase ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ has been well and truly debunked in the internet age. There’s nothing worse for a company than having a customer google the business’s name only to see a flurry of bad reviews. Who’s going to buy from there? In fact, 93% of customers read reviews before visiting a business, with 88% trusting reviews just as much as personal recommendations. But you don’t need to be afraid of online reviews. It’s a way for new, upcoming businesses to shine. And even if you do receive the odd bad review, the right reply can win over any doubters.
User Reviews vs Expert Reviews
There are two kinds of reviews: user reviews and expert reviews. For businesses, it’s important to have both. Think of it as a movie review. Movie critics sometimes rave about a film, but audiences might not like it. Meanwhile, a poorly-reviewed film can still be enjoyable. But a film beloved by both critics and audiences will go on to smash box office records. So, the perfect combination is to have positive reviews from experts and users alike.
User reviews are great to know what fellow consumers have experienced, making them particularly important in some fields – primarily the service industry. So, when it comes to restaurants, customers prefer to check reviews on a website like TripAdvisor rather than listen to a food critic whose tastes might not be the same. And then there are sites like Yelp, where consumers can leave their reviews for all kinds of services.
However, sometimes you have to call in the experts. When it comes to internet security software, it’s better to listen to someone who knows what they’re talking about. This is when a funny review on Amazon doesn’t quite do it. Instead, customers look up reviews on websites that have trustworthy, specialist reviews – like us here at Best Reviews.
Each website has its own review process, but generally, they aim to give readers an honest opinion and communicate even the most complicated subjects. A good reviewer will test out the product thoroughly from the average user’s perspective and understand its practicalities. By combining that knowledge and experience, expert reviews and ratings become an authoritative evaluation of a product.
Getting More Reviews
One fantastic review isn’t going to turn a business’s fortunes around – although obviously, it’s always nice to hear positive feedback. But people are more inclined to write a review after a negative experience, so you want to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews whenever possible.
Perhaps the simplest way to get customer reviews is to ask for them. Whether it’s by email (through order confirmations or newsletters), social media, or in person, it doesn’t hurt to request that your loyal customers spread the good word. Of course, if you really want to have your customers review your product, you can always reward them for their efforts with free items or vouchers. It’s also a good idea to avoid getting complacent after a few good customer reviews come in. People will be wary if there haven’t been any recent ratings, with 73% of customers only paying attention to reviews written within the last month.
But don’t get too desperate. Some companies buy fake reviews to move them up the rankings and boost their star ratings. While there may be some very short-term success with that method, it’s only a matter of time before these posts get taken down, and if people find out you’ve been buying fake reviews, they may see your business as some sort of scam.
Responding To Criticism
Of course, you can’t always please everyone. But when it comes to poor reviews, there’s an art to dealing with criticism that can reassure your customers that someone’s bad experience was just a rare blip. You should probably avoid writing sassy replies – even if it can be tempting sometimes.
When you get a bad review, you need to give a personal, thoughtful, and empathetic response. And if you’re in the wrong, you should admit to it and apologize for the inconvenience. Since it won’t just be that one person reading your response to a public reply, you need to show how your business is committed to learning and improving from the feedback received. This way, even your bad reviews can win over potential customers.