What are Online Reviews?
Online reviews, sometimes referred to as business reviews is a review of a product or service made by the customer to a brand. It can serve as an evaluation of a product and the overall performance of the business. An online review is a reflection of one’s business performance in serving the customers either in a form or service or goods.
Not everyone may know about this, but online reviews are the most vital factor that contributes to the success of the business no matter what platform it is from.
Who reads online reviews?
This is a rhetorical question, and it would sound simply stupid by asking that question. But there are still some business platforms that don’t know how important online reviews are and why do most people rely on it. Looking at the statistics on online reviews, 90% of the customer read online reviews before visiting a business. This number right here already proved the online reviews really do matter no matter how big or popular the business is.
Everyone reads online reviews, either a positive one or the negative one. It’s a big part of the purchasing decision of the customers to whether buy the product or not at all cost. If customers want to buy a product to a new discovered business brand, they always look on the reviews first before buying. In fact, according to BrightLocal, 85% of the customers trust online reviews more than the recommendations from friends and family.
Learning Deeper About Online Reviews
Online reviews can vary depending on the category of the business and what platform- not all categories have the same standard when it comes to online reviews. For local businesses such as bookstores, hardware shops, local clothing lines and more, they also need an online review to generate customers within the region. According to a report, 72% said that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. By this, it’s safe to assume that whatever type of business, online reviews are and will always be the most vital factor.
However, even if a business has good reviews, there’s only a 72% of customers who will take an action after reading a positive review. Out of that 72%, it breaks down to 27% reliability; 21% expertise; and 18% professionalism. See, the multifaceted roles of online reviews are not always on the right path for a business to grow and it all boils down to how a business or eCommerce platform handle a customer or respond to reviews.
How to Handle Online Reviews
Handling online reviews is the real deal- the wholesome process and duty in which every business owner should be invested to. Time is gold but customers are crystals. So, if a business has poor quality service and unresponsive to reviews, then it’s safe to assume that it’s on its way to downfall.
Everyone can agree that once a customer posted a review on the website, it’s either a positive review or not. But the hardest part of handling reviews is the negative feedbacks, comments, and ratings. No business or online selling platform is exempted in receiving negative reviews and it’s all up to individual strategy on how to handle these reviews.
Managing and responding to negative reviews is a bit intimidating because it’s an indication that customers didn’t like the product or have experienced poor services within the business brand.
Respond to Negative/Bad Reviews
- Respond promptly and kindly.
First of all, if a business receives negative reviews, make sure to respond right away because the reason they are reaching out is to solve the issue immediately. Negative reviews are intimidating, that’s a fact. But negative reviews are not the enemy here.
One of the best ways to respond to negative reviews is to respond promptly in a timely situation before it can escalate into something bigger that can jeopardize the business. Also, be kind to the customers by using polite words.
“We are glad to assist you. How can I help you today?”
“We are sorry to hear that from you. Let me check in your order details so we can address it as soon as possible.”
“Hello! I’m sorry to hear that from you, especially on your first experience with our brand. I am here to help you.”
- Be professional in solving the issue or responding.
Customers are likely still on rage after posting a negative review, and the best way to approach this is by being professional and avoid playing with the emotions as a support agent because it will only add to the frustration of the customers. Be polite also by greeting them and using sympathetic words.
Such examples are,
“We’re taking full responsibility for this issue and we will be with you until it gets solved.”
“This is way below on our standards and we always aim to deliver quality services to our clients like you. Give me time first to evaluate this case and we can proceed addressing it.”
“Thank you for contacting us and we will help you achieve the best experience this time. We would like to investigate the transaction you have made and make an action.”
- Keep the conversation brief yet beneficial on both ends.
After the problems or issues have been addressed, continue talking to the customer by asking other questions that could relate to their current experience from using the product or subscribing to the service. By this, it will be easier to formulate solutions.
- Solve the issue offline and be back shortly.
To effectively address the issue, take into account of solving the issue offline to avoid getting distracted from the outside factors. Then, after addressing the issue, immediately return to the customers and provide updated details of the situation.
Here are some examples.
“For us to efficiently serve you, we are planning to take this offline and we will be back shortly through email or SMS notifications.”
“We are planning to take this in offline procedural process for optimal results. We will be back on a short notice.”
- Thank the customers and learn on the process.
Upon settling the issue, give thanks to the customers by recognizing their efforts to reach out to the business’ customer service. Also, learn from this process in handling and responding to the customers so it will be easier for the next situation to deal.
“We highly appreciate your reviews, and being said, thank you for the efforts in reaching out to use about your experience using our product. We will assure you that this won’t happen again.”
“Thank you for reaching out to us! We are very sorry for the experience you had with our services.”
“Thank you for letting us know about this. You feedback helps us in improving our services for better serve everyone in the future.”
Putting it as a whole response, it would go like this:
Hello [Name of the customer]! We are sorry to hear that from you. Let me check in your order details so we can address it as soon as possible. This is way below on our standards and we always aim to deliver quality services to our clients like you. Give me time first to evaluate this case and we can proceed addressing it. For us to efficiently serve you, we are planning to take this offline and we will be back shortly through email or SMS notifications. We highly appreciate your reviews, and being said, thank you for the efforts in reaching out to use about your experience using our product. We will assure you that this won’t happen again.
Hello [Name of the customer]! My apologies about your experience using our product/ subscribing to our services. We guarantee that you will have the best experience after this discussion. We always strive for excellence and pride our selves with our professionalism. But our goal is to serve you with the best experience. We understand your dissatisfaction with our product. We will be investigating your concern offline and return to you with good news. I will be back shortly. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us through our email and social media accounts. Thank you for contacting us, we appreciate your efforts.
Hi [Name of the customer]! I’m sorry to hear that from you. This is an unacceptable action of our management and we will help you through this. In your case, it seems like you are having a difficult time in using our services after your subscription. We will be investigating it offline and return to you shortly. Thank you for reaching out to us. You feedback will be used to improve our services.
Respond to Positive/Good Reviews
On a lighter note, positive reviews are the gems in a typical setting of online reviews. If the customers are satisfied using the product or services, they respond positively and full of joy. By this, it’s safe to assume that positive reviews are opportunities to seize in deeply nurturing and influencing their purchasing decisions.
Positive reviews are delightful to read and it’s a must to thank genuinely the customers on this scene. Even though it’s a positive review, there’s still a need to balance the politeness and professionalism in responding to these reviews.
These are some of the qualities needed to respond to a positive review.
- Be thankful.
- Keep a positive tone and acknowledge the part where they liked the product or services.
- Reinforce the customers by telling them to visit and purchase again.
- Compliment the customer as the same thing they did.
- If the customers posted a positive review of a product, respond by mentioning other relevant products that might interest them.
- Share the reviews to the world- to any social media platforms, GMB to receive recognition and attract potential customers.
Here are some examples:
Hi there [name]! We are delighted to hear that from you- loving or liking our products is always our top goal in our brand. The whole company will be thrilled to hear about it. We will continue to serve you and all of our customers to the best of our capabilities. If you’re planning to order again, we have another product [mention the product] that is the same with what you have ordered last transaction. Overall, thank you again and we are looking forward to seeing you soon.
We are ecstatic to hear these kind words from you [name]. This is just a fraction of our quality services and care to our valued customers. If you like to repurchase, we have new items [mention the product] similar to your orders last check-out. This is a good news for the company and we hope to see you soon on our website again.
Thank you for these excellent words coming from you [name]. The product you have purchased is one of our best-selling items and we are glad that you are loving it. We also have another product that has the same quality and functionality of the last item you have ordered, [mention the product]. We hope to see you soon and serve you again with the best of our capabilities.
Now that online reviews play significant roles in businesses, especially in a developing industry, needless to say that some business owners will start managing their reviews. Treat online reviews as an influence in the purchasing decision of the customers and the representation of the business brand. Negative reviews contribute to poor reputation and positive reviews contribute also to good reputation. No one can deny the terror and perks of online reviews but there’s no other better way to do than responding to these. In a sense that an online review is intimidating to handle, even the response itself is still a test on how a business can professionally handle the customers.
Make use of these reviews to improve one’s service and generate customers. Don’t be discouraged receiving negative reviews because it serves as a ground for improvement on all aspect.