Marketing
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6
 min read

How to Make the Best Out of Bad Reviews - and Fully Leverage Amazing Ones!

This is Part 2 of our 2-part series on the impact of customer reviews. In Part 1, we discussed the importance of having good reviews and how to get more of them. Let’s dive into the second half of the process.

This is Part 2 of our 2-part series on the impact of customer reviews. In Part 1, we discussed the importance of having good reviews and how to get more of them. Let’s dive into the second half of the process.

LEVERAGING GREAT REVIEWS

Once you’ve got a chunk of great reviews, it’s time to leverage them. First, ensure that your customers trust their authenticity. Then,  promotion becomes everything. Feature reviews everywhere; the more channels the better.

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This also applies to your website. Put reviews everywhere!

Customers won’t have to waste time looking for reviews if they already see great ones wherever they go. Alex Perkins, co-founder of All The Stuff, argues that even the few seconds it takes for a customer to search for your reviews page could be “the determining factor for them to do business with you or simply turn to another competitor.”

After you’ve staged your reviews front and center, take a step further and ensure your customers will trust them.

Remember: your customers know that some brands will skew, remove, or edit their reviews to place their products in the best light possible. To avoid customer skepticism, John Ross from Test Prep Insight recommends you highlight “your stellar rating with a third-party review site” to “show credibility and quality,” ensuring your customers will trust the reviews they read. We think this is an awesome strategy.

He recommends you use a large, mid-page banner to showcase your trustworthy rating.

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Another tactic that boosts trust is “adding a picture of the reviewer and the company he or she works at,” says Luke Genoyer, a business development manager at Global Call Forwarding.

His company puts its best reviews on landing pages to make a great first impression on new visitors. Smart.

OUTBOUND PROMOTION

Once you’ve got a solid website presence and good trust behind your reviews, it’s time to shift your focus outwards.

“If a customer review is particularly glowing, cross-post it far and wide across your social channels. It is both social proof and can drive traffic to your website, which is always beneficial and could potentially end up in additional conversions.

- Bryce Welker, CEO of The CPA Exam Guy

Cross-posting reviews could involve “adapting either written or video customer testimonials for social media and blog posts,” or by integrating them into an email newsletter, as Andrew Clark--a marketing strategist from Duckpin--suggests. You could also try “featuring positive reviews in paid content” as Calloway Cook does at Illuminate Labs.

Curtis Forbes uses a different strategy; he simply puts his company’s reviews where he knows his customers will find them. His company markets to both clients and music teachers, so he spreads reviews from both across the platform(s) that each type of prospect is prone to check.

“Many of our clients find us on Google or Facebook, so that’s where we encourage our customers to post reviews. We also have reviews on Glassdoor from our teachers.

- Curtis Forbes, CEO of Forbes Music

Again, leveraging comes down to two things: trust and promotion. Once you can ensure your customers trust the authenticity of your reviews, strong promotional capabilities are all you need to leverage them well.

RESPONDING TO NEGATIVE REVIEWS

When dealing with negative reviews, first understand that removing, covering up, or ignoring negative feedback is the most damaging mistake a business can make in trying to handle it. It is critical that you face negative feedback head-on, and show your audience that you are willing to accept criticism. As Adam Garcia of The Stock Dork puts it, “all positive and negative aspects must be shown for it [a business] to appear authentic and believable.” Following John Ross’ advice about using a third-party review service ensures that this level of honesty becomes a given.

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Michael Lai, CEO of SiteJabber, recommends that you put “a system in place, whether internally or through a trusted service, to respond to negative reviews.” Abby Herman, Director of Strategy at Snap Agency, agrees. She thinks “a team that monitors when someone talks about your business online is a great strategy” to intercept and solve negative feedback as quickly as possible.

Another way to prevent bad reviews is to check in regularly with your audience, through handwritten notes, online polls, or other forms of outreach, to ensure everyone is on the same page and happy with what you’re providing. Prevention is king.

When a negative review inevitably arises, you must “address it with the customer ASAP.” (Alex Keyan, CEO/founder of goPure Beauty). This allows the issue to resolve itself when the problem is small and prevents it from spiraling out of control. Michael Lai agrees, insisting that you “respond quickly and publicly.” Publicizing your response helps show future customers that you are willing to address issues without hiding anything, and that you will put in significant effort to make sure they’re satisfied.

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Remember: A prompt, authentic response, followed up with a solution to the customer’s problem, is all you need to convince the reviewer to change their views on you -- whether that means editing, improving, or removing the negative review.

If you’re talking with a disappointed customer, and especially if you’re talking with an angry customer, it’s important to never take anything personally. The internet has given a lot of power to angry people who have large networks, meaning there’s a lot to lose if you retaliate or act defensive. In a clash, the public usually assumes that the business is the bad guy.

“Be reflective and unique in your answer, but avoid being personal and especially avoid attacking or retaliating.

- Richard Mews, CEO of Sell With Richard

He added that we should treat every interaction with an angry customer like an interaction with an upset business partner. Be humble, understanding and do anything you can to satisfy them, not because you think they’re right, but because you understand how much is at stake if they aren’t happy.

Finally, understand that every instance of negative feedback is an opportunity for improvement. Andrew Clark from Duckpin reminds us that “some complaints are legitimate and may offer insight into an issue that a business was not aware of.”

Sometimes, the angry customer is right. Don’t forget it.

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Satisfying an angry customer requires you go above and beyond to meet their needs. Often, companies will offer massive discounts, gift cards, or cash incentives to apologize, but to a disgruntled customer, these can feel too transactional to be genuine resolutions. They feel more bought out than cared for.

One thing that we know is particularly effective is to reach out with a handwritten note. Handwritten notes prevent the customer from feeling as though they were bought out - they reach the customer directly in a way that stands out, and communicates care in a way that no other medium can.

With IgnitePOST, you can send out handwritten notes to customers with the same message, same discount code, and in the same amount of time as an email, yet the email would end up hit-or-miss while the handwritten note would win them over every single time. The medium makes all the difference.

Check out the article below to learn more about why a 10x boost in conversion rate has become commonplace for our customers that use this technique.

LEARN MORE

IgnitePOST Team
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