If order for your business to grow and thrive, it needs to develop a favorable reputation. No one will know if there are advantages to becoming a customer, client, or patient with you rather than with your competitor if they aren’t presented with the information needed to make a judgement call.
Reviews are often seen as one of the most trustworthy sources of information when making these decisions. If plenty of other people detail a positive experience, people are more likely to expect a similar experience when they use a certain business or office. A lack of reviews leaves too much up to question, and a slew of negative reviews will cross a particular business off the list for people making considerations.
Your ability to manage your reviews, grow with feedback, and learn to meet the needs and expectations of your customers is crucial. If you’re better than your competitors, you need to be able to demonstrate that through your public reputation. Review management software plays a vital role in that process.
Reputation Management Can Make or Break a Business
Reputation management is an ongoing process that involves constant monitoring and a thriving online presence. You need to be aware of what people are saying about your business online and strive to remain a part of that conversation. It could be a full-time job to answer questions and respond to comments, but it’s worth the effort.
Every comment or review you receive is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service. You should be watching for these opportunities as often as possible. If they’re left unchecked for too long, missed opportunities to satisfy customers or resolve unsatisfactory experiences may rise to the top of Google results. When people search for your business or office, they may be bombarded with negative information. This is true even if the negative reviews are in the minority.
You may be fortunate enough to find that a search of your business generates mostly positive results, but don’t get too comfortable. You need an effective damage control and reputation strategy, even if things are sunny and bright at the moment. You don’t want to be caught unaware.
It only takes one very vocal customer who feels as though they had a negative experience. This person can leave a wealth of reviews and comments on every popular platform detailing what they believe or how they feel. If this person isn’t being objectively honest in their portrayal of events or their experiences, the people who read the comments won’t know that. Your strategy for response and management is most important in this scenario.
What To Do with Negative Reviews
Criticism can feel hurtful, even if it’s rooted in truth. You may have failed to provide a satisfactory experience for a patient, customer, or client due to a shortcoming or an oversight. If the mistake is truly yours, you should address that mistake in a way that assumes accountability. This is the fastest and most effective way to bring about a resolution, and it has the potential to improve your reputation.
There may also be scenarios where someone dramatizes an experience, fails to mention vital facts, or outright fabricates a situation. Your sense of recourse in these scenarios is slightly different.
The key for successful reputation management is understanding the difference between these two scenarios and knowing which strategy to utilize. The answer will come from asking a series of questions after you read a negative review.
1. Is the information in this review truthful or can it be proven that it is not?
2. Is there a quick fix or improvement that would solve this issue and prevent it from recurring?
3. Are we doing our best to improve customer experience?
4. How can we make our customers feel heard?
5. Can we grow from this and put the negative reviews behind us?
Negative reviews will require some kind of public response or acknowledgement. You don’t want the people who have stumbled upon a negative review to believe that you’ve brushed it off. The appropriate way to respond to these reviews is to ask and honestly answer all five of those questions.
In the case of someone leaving a negative review who was never a patient or customer, or in the case of someone spamming multiple negative reviews from different accounts, you may be able to have those reviews removed. It all depends on the policy of the review platform.
If someone is misrepresenting the truth in their review, your best option is to respond apologetically and to politely correct every untrue or inaccurate point they’ve made, but be sure not to be overly emotional, and especially do not play the blame game. If it seems as though they’re being deliberately untruthful with the intention to harm your business, you might want to investigate formal methods of handling harassment.
If the review is at least mostly fair in its criticism, respond to make it right. This might involve pledging to make long-term changes that will improve the experience you provide for everyone who walks through your doors. People love feeling heard. Your acknowledgement, as well as the steps you take to remedy the issue, will improve your relationship with your customers, clients, or patients.
Keep the Positive Reviews Coming
In order to bring your rating average up after bad reviews have taken a toll, you need to increase the amount of positive reviews you receive. If you have three five-star reviews and three one-star reviews, your average rating rounds out to 2.5 stars. Adding several five-star reviews into the mix will shift the balance.
This is where review management software comes in handy. You’re more likely to get the reviews you need if you emphasize how important those reviews are. Disgruntled customers or patients take to the internet to vent. Happy customers go about their lives, often without thinking of sharing their experience with others.
The overwhelming majority of customers would be willing to leave a review if asked. Provide a great experience for them, and while that experience is still fresh in their minds, request a review. One of the easiest ways to request a review is via text message. Follow up with your customers or patients after their visit via automated text and let them know you’d appreciate a review. Leave a link to make it even easier.
With Art of Chat, you can automate these texts. Your customer or patient receives the text, taps on the link, and types their review. It’s as simple as can be. There is no fear of forgetting to request that positive review, and because it’s delivered directly to your customer or patient’s smartphone, there’s less concern that they’ll forget. They’re already connected. It’s easy for them to leave a review the moment they receive the request.