As we move into the future, more and more services that used to be strictly offline will be found online. Advertising in phonebooks and print media are becoming less effective as more eyes are found perusing the Internet rather than skimming the yellow pages (think Search Engine Optimization Strategy). This trend now applies to reviews of all different types of service based industries. Finding a review to a restaurant usually meant opening up your newspaper or finding a local magazine. Nowadays, this is done by searching through Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, or any other online review site that houses user-generated content.
This trend doesn’t necessarily apply exclusively to restaurants or hotels. Other services including carpentry, movers, and web marketing companies can all be found on online review sites. As a business owner, it’s always a good idea to check on how your company is ranking among other businesses in your industry, and how your customers really feel about you.
If all your reviews are glowing, then super! If some of them are bad, however, take some time to remedy the situation. Some great tips to help in answering negative reviews that may have been left for your business include:
Remember that the Customer is Always Right- This old adage couldn’t ring more true in this situation. The public is generally going to side with a disgruntled customer before they side with the company. Make sure to admit fault in this situation.
Be Professional- There is nothing worse than a business stooping to the level of a customer that acts in an unprofessional manner. Take the high road and remain professional when answering a negative review.
Show How you will Fix the Problem- Once you admit fault and apologize for whatever happened, you can add a section of what you’re doing as a business to fix whatever problem your customer had. This will allow other people to see that you care and you’re taking steps toward fixing the problem.
The first step in all of this is to find your company among the current online review sites to see how you stack up against the competition. The next step is to take control of your online reputation. Remember, the conversation is already happening; it’s up to you to be a part of it.