When promoting your business, it is really important to be are aware of customers’ opinions and how those opinions impact future customers. In fact, there are many online review sites aimed at keeping consumers aware of good businesses, as well as the not-so-good ones. Keeping up with these sites is really important. In fact, research conducted by NielsenÂ shows that a staggering 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing, or recommendations from family and friends, over other forms of advertising. Based on those findings alone, it would be foolish not to take advantage of review websites.
How Review Sites Work
Consumer review websites offer your customers the opportunity to post positive or negative reviews of your business based on their individual experiences. The reviews given generally follow a standard 5-star rating and include subjective comments from each reviewer.
One of the most popular review websites in Australia is Word of Mouth Online or WOMO. This site is special because it separates reviews based on location, industry, and reviewer. WOMO also allows businesses the opportunity to promote themselves with a button placed on their home page. Business owners can directly link into the site and promote their business through their website or through social media outlets, effectively directing customers to leave a review.
Handling Negative Reviews
Despite the positives of word-of-mouth advertising, it is important to be aware that negative reviews also occur through these services. How you deal with them impacts how others view your business. Many people are aware of the Amy’s Baking Company fiasco last year. In this case, a business in Arizona lashed out at customers who complained via Facebook. Sure, they gained a whole lot of publicity, but none of it was good.
It is extremely important to maintain your cool when dealing with negative reviews. Try responding to negative comments in a positive way. Use the opportunity to turn the comment around and focus on your company’s strengths while acknowledging that a particular customer had a bad experience. Remember not to get defensive and keep in mind the adage that ‘the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong’.