In today's world of social media, smart phone apps, and product- and service-review websites, opportunities for customers to share their opinions and personal experiences of businesses have grown exponentially. It is an unfortunate reality that consumers are 3 to 5 times more likely to talk about a negative experience than a positive one, and that those who hear or read a negative review are more likely to remember it.


Data from Nielsen's Global Online Consumer Survey found that the availability of peer reviews on a website will positively affect online businesses even when some customer comments are unenthusiastic. This is because consumers place a great deal of confidence in peer reviews, and see them as an important source of information on which to base their purchasing decisions.


How a business responds to an unfavorable customer comment or bad review online can make the difference between damage to the company's reputation or an opportunity to demonstrate that company's commitment to its customers.


Negative feedback can be the best way for a business to discover perceived deficiencies in its customer service.


Online reviews, good and bad, offer a kind of market research and client feedback that has not previously been available. The manner in which a business publicly responds to negative customer reviews can often turn the negative into a positive in the eyes of others reading the comments.


With the knowledge that providing online peer reviews drives business, service providers and retailers must adopt a comprehensive review strategy.  Here are some tips:


1.  Do not ignore the negative feedback.

Potential customers will read both positive and negative reviews. If they see a customer complaint, they want to see that the company actively attempts to satisfy unhappy patrons.


2.  Remain positive and sincere.

Never take it personally.  Keep to the facts and LISTEN.


3. Respond promptly to rectify the situation.

Set up a system (google alerts or social mention) where you can daily monitor what is being said about you and your company. The response should be from someone of authority who make immediate decisions to remedy the problem.


4.  Make a visible effort to resolve the issues raised.

Resolving the complaint privately will perhaps bring a client back, but if there is a negative peer review online for all to see, it is also vital to let other potential customers see how far the company will go to satisfy their needs.  Take the discussion OFF line, but state the solution and resolution On line.


5.  Ask for a follow-up review.

If a company responds positively and respectfully to a negative review, and is able to satisfy the disgruntled customer, it is prudent to try to get the now-happy client to submit a follow-up review.


IMPACT! has strategies on how you can get legitimate and effective positive testimonials to include on your website.





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