Small businesses work extremely hard to provide the best product and service possible to their customers. They invest a large amount of time, money, and resources into their operations and most of them take customer service seriously.
One of the most rewarding moments when owning a business is reading and responding to positive business reviews. As easy as it is, owners also have to learn how to properly respond to negative business reviews in a professional and timely manner.
Why is responding to negative business reviews important?
This is a bit of a lesser-known benefit of responding to negative business reviews, but Google has actually confirmed that these actions improve local SEO. In fact, it will account for roughly 15% of how Google ranks you in local searches.
In addition to that, responding to negative business reviews is extremely important to the customer. Nearly 97% of all consumers say negative reviews are essential to the buying process, 53% expect businesses to respond to reviews within a week, and nearly half of all consumers are more likely to visit a business that takes the time to respond to negative reviews.
If you want to get the most out of your business reviews and ensure that even the negative ones help your business, we have three pieces of advice for you when responding — understand the issue at hand, present a solution to the problem, and appeal to the customer’s emotions.
Understand the Issue at Hand
In order to properly respond to negative business reviews, you must first understand what the customer is complaining about. You’ll have to put your personal opinions and feelings about the situation to the side and put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
If you can’t convince them that you understand the problem, your response will be no good and will likely do more harm than anything. Drop your guard down and keep in mind that these reviews mean a lot to the customer.
Present a Solution to the Problem
Once you’re able to identify the problem, the customer wants to know you have a plan to solve it. No, this doesn’t mean simply throwing them a free service or discount on an item. In fact, that may come off as a lame attempt to apologize.
You’ll want to make sure you take ownership of what happened, acknowledge their viewpoint and state that you’re working towards a solution. Understand that you can’t change the past, but you can always make things right for the future.
Be Genuine, Express Humility
If you truly want to make your customers happy with your response, you have to find a way to connect with them on a deeper level. Being genuine will go a long way. Saying “We are deeply sorry” and “We take these issues seriously” are great ways to ensure the customer they’re being heard.
In addition to that, expressing humility shows that you’re human and you’re willing to do what it takes to make it better. It’s common to drop the ball in life and business, but it’s how we react that really matters.
If you’re looking to give your customers the best customer service when responding to positive and negative business reviews, Web Rocket Media can help with our ability to manage your Google My Business page. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you!
Revain. “Why Are Customer Reviews So Important?” Medium, Revain, 27 Nov. 2018, medium.com/revain/why-are-customer-reviews-so-important-185b915d4e5d.
Capoccia, Cory. “Council Post: Online Reviews Are The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Small Businesses.” Forbes, 11 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/04/11/online-reviews-are-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-small-businesses/#71bb27bc740a.