Customer reviews often convert new visitors on your website or social media platforms. But sourcing reviews can sometimes feel desperate or go unanswered. So how can you handle review management while also making the process intriguing for the reviewee? This is the art of review management.
Marketing is essential, and similarly, review request marketing dedicates resources toward outreach to past customers so they can boast social proof with fresh positive reviews. You may have seen this type of marketing before because it doesn’t only have to be about the product or service purchased. Companies create pop-ups on their sites after a purchase is made asking visitors to rate their experience. This practice is useful to identify Net Promoter Scores, which ask how likely someone is to refer your product or service to another through word of mouth (the most effective type of marketing and review). If information is collected about this customer at check out like email, they will make a great addition to targeted email marketing campaigns to entice them to buy with you again and potentially send your content to a friend.
Review management practices like prompts, email marketing and direct outreach all work to build up a brand’s social proof. But when is the right time to solicit this type of feedback?
As for how, it’s likely that asking for ‘customer feedback’ versus ‘a review’ will be less intimidating. It also gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes or respond immediately if the feedback is not so positive. When that’s the case, follow some of our best practices to deal with negative reviews:
Compassion is King
When reading a negative review or critique of your business, it’s likely you may feel attacked and frustrated that the customer doesn’t understand you or would react in a public way. While your reaction is valid, it’s important to move beyond this and see the opportunity to rebuild trust with your audience. Reacting in a way that proves you want to create connection is a win-win because 33% of customers who received a response to their negative review later changed it to be more positive, while 34% deleted their negative review! When replying to negativity, remember to keep your tone friendly and understanding. It’s often best to personalize it with a name if available, acknowledge what was written and add the steps that will be taken internally. Sign off with your name and position, to again, make it more personal + so they may be able to easily identify/ask for you when they return!
Move the Conversation Offline
Threads like Reddit are great for honest feedback and communication, but you likely don’t want your comments or review page to turn into one… If there’s a back and forth you are having with a customer based on their disappointment, feedback, or questions with your product/service, it’s best that you move the conversation offline after 1-2 responses. This allows you to better address their concerns through customer service processes or maybe even a refund/revisit, instead of your review page looking like a forum. You don’t want to give off the impression that public back and forth is welcomed in reviews, plus you’ll likely solve an issue much quicker with a phone or in person conversation!
Perfect Time to Pivot
If the negative review is valid – for example, your branding is not as inclusive as it could be or you’re in need of expanding and growing your leadership team, negative feedback can offer the perfect opportunity to pivot! Sometimes, we can be as proud of our business and content as possible, but that does not alleviate the chance of someone taking it the wrong way and their terrible review spreading like wildfire across the social media streets. Take the customers complaints as a sign of the times and reach out to marketing and reputation experts to reevaluate your business messaging and strategy.
Streamline Your Systems
Did you receive a negative review that has to do with human error? If so, this type of feedback can be a great learning opportunity on how and where you can automate things for improved customer service. The richest data stream is in failure. For example, if someone is upset it took your team 4 days to respond to their email or 15 minutes to get their coffee, this is an opportunity for automation or systematization within your approach or processes! Can you invest in email automation using AI to answer FAQ emails within minutes? Can you implement an order prioritization system, so you have one barista working on simple orders and two working on complex ones aka shortening the delivery time for all orders placed? Systems bring order to chaos and can bring solutions to simple human errors with automations.
Incentivize the Issues
In case there isn’t a chance to quickly change the product based on a bad review, you could use strategies like sending a gift with purchase or a discount coupon, so your customers are elated by the unexpected gesture and comment positively about your customer service.
Managing your reviews can feel overwhelming, and not having any at all can feel equally as stressful. But with the appropriate and streamlined approaches to ask for review, manage responses and deal with negativity, your efforts to build trust and retain business will reap rewards. Remember that you deserve to know where you are doing well and where you can improve in order to grow, it doesn’t have to be awkward, and you don’t have to hear crickets if you use review management marketing and strategies to stay on top of it!