14 Tips for Small Business: How to Manage Your Customers’ Online Reviews

The growth of the online business has introduced new options for customers and new challenges for business. Online selling is all about marketing, but we should not forget that customer reviews are another essential part of online business.

Almost all major business present online have customer reviews, while in many cases, good online reviews are a prime factor behind success in the world of online business.

When it comes to small business and individual entrepreneurs, managing customers’ reviews can pose a challenge. We will guide you through the process of managing customer reviews and offer you some practical tips to help you along the way.

Reputation is Everything

As you are probably aware, when it comes to doing business, reputation is everything. This fact is especially relevant in the case of online business. Good reviews generate good reputation, while bad reviews generate not so good reputation.

Your first task is to monitor your web page, social network pages and blogs (if you have one). Also, check important consumer review sites and get to know what customers have to say.

Gathering the right info always means a lot in business.

Communicate With Customers

When you find that customers are voicing their concerns and/or requesting help or additional feedback, be sure to react promptly and assure the customer you are there to help.

Communication is the key. Make sure the customer knows you take their reviews seriously.

Respond in a Timely Manner

Always take care to respond to customer reviews. Be polite and avoid justifications if case of complaints or bad reviews. No matter what, you need to show that you care about your customers and what they have to say about your business. Responding quickly is the key to demonstrating your dedication to providing quality customer service.

Learn When to Respond

Of course, not all reviews are going to objective or reasonable. You have to be prepared for the fact that no matter what you do, there are people out there who will be critical. It is important to know that you don’t need to respond to such reviews, and if you do, keep it professional and polite and avoid getting into protracted debates.

Set up a Customer Service

A quality customer service is the key when it comes to managing potential problems and complaints. A customer service also takes care of customer reviews and responds in a professional manner. Not only that a customer service demonstrates you care about your customers, it also says that you run a serious, professional business.

How to Respond to Customer Reviews?

Some relevant tips how to respond to customer’ reviews.

Make it Brief

When you respond to review it is a good idea to be brief and effective. Only address the key aspects of the review. Remember, you are not there to chat with the customer, but provide helpful info.

Don’t Use Automated Responses

Some business owners use copy/paste, automated responses to reviews, or stick to highly generalized, common answers. This is to be avoided at all cost. Automated answers show you don’t care and appreciate your customers. It is often the case automated answers completely are completely irrelevant to the review. People are unique, so you will have to respond on a personal level.

Thank Customers

Respond by thanking customers for leaving a review. Doing this shows you care about customers, it also gives an example to other customers that you value their feedback.

Try to Respond to Most Reviews

This is not always easy, but it’s worth the effort. Regularly responding to customer feedback serves to demonstrate that you are actively monitoring customer satisfaction.

How to Respond to Bad Reviews?

Bad reviews are inevitable. Learning how to handle negative reviews prepares you for such situations and serves to prevent potential damage to your business reputation.

Show That You Recognize the Problem

If a bad review is about the problems and shortcomings, take time to explain you know what is wrong and, most importantly, that you are working to solve the issue.

Apologize

Apologize to the customer, even if you don’t feel the need, or think the review is not fair. If the latter is the case, try to say so in your response in a polite and professional manner.

Never Deny a Problem

Handling customer complaints is extremely important. Avoid denying the problem as it is a big mistake. In case you think the problem is not your fault, you still have to recognize the problem exist and try to tackle it.

Don’t Get Emotional

Remember, a good business owner always keeps it professional. Emotional responses to bad reviews will do no good.

Avoid Arguments

Arguing with customers over a bad review is the worst possible solution. Avoid it and remain professional.  

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