Reviews are Word of Mouth: The Most Powerful Form of Advertising

Many have read negative reviews and some may have written one or two themselves. Often, when a business receives a negative review they don’t know really what to do.

Some will come out of the gate swinging

Mad, angry and ready to defend their team and their every move – sometimes they miss the main message or the constructive feedback embedded in the review.

Some will take the ostrich defense

Acting too busy or completely unaware that there has been a negative review or comments about their business, they decide to not even acknowledge the review.

Some are just as service focused online as they are offline

And, it serves them well. They are focused, listening and eager to help their customer and do take a genuine interest in translating their customer’s review to something that could become a plan to put into place for improvement.

How do you reduce the negative and increase the positive?

Make it a priority

A recent study shows that, on average, 10.4 information sources are checked before making a decision.

Create a good product and provide quality service

It’s important that you are providing quality all the way around. As a marketing team, we’re often asked to put “lipstick on a pig” which means we’re asked to make someone look amazing and engaged on social when their actual product or service is not that good.

Those companies we ask to “go back” and review their actual services. Many times, they know what they need to improve on but haven’t focused or made a commitment to make those changes.

Provide avenues or front level connections where customers can communicate and vent

It’s true. If you’re listening at the level where customers are doing business or engaging, then you’ll decrease negative reviews.

Providing customers the opportunity to be heard and to be valued, will negate those who want to take to the review sites or social airways to vent. If they feel heard at this level, they feel valued.

Are you asking for feedback? Are you listening to the response?

Does your team do the same? Are they willing to listen to constructive criticism and helpful in seeking solution?

Have the ability to capture positive comments in an easy way

To increase positive reviews, the key is not to bribe your customers for them or to exchange goods or money for them (that’s not ethical!).

Instead, provide an easy format to capture their positive comments.

One fitness facility we worked with had a laptop available to clients to capture their video comments and reviews on how much they enjoyed the facility.

Another utilizes a review funnel we created them that captures and promotes the positive reviews and sends negative reviews immediately to a customer care team member who contacts them for more personal interaction and feedback.

Respond fast

Either online or in person, quickly respond to reviews with a level head and the focus of nurturing the relationship with the client. Unless after careful consideration you feel that the person is being abusive or disrespectful and that would need to be determined during you contact of response to them (unless they were very explicit and derogatory in their review).

It is a conscious decision that needs to be made and not a knee-jerk or “rage quit” decision.

*rage quit: when someone emotionally takes action to no longer speak or engage with someone and quits in a fit of anger.

Offer opportunities and incentives

Let’s be clear. You’re not offering these in exchange for a positive review – that would be unethical! What you are doing is offering this opportunities and incentives to those who have left negative reviews giving them a chance to try you again; or to see how you’ve made improvements from their feedback; or to show them that what they initially experienced was not the normal experience and provide them the opportunity to experience what you really deliver.

If we can assist you in creating these easy systems with the tools we have that make this easy for you and encouraging positive word of mouth , please let us know – we would be honored to assist you!

About the Author:

Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? –Get exclusive access.