Most businesses work hard to ensure customers are so happy that they turn to the Internet to write glowing reviews on sites like Yelp. But the world isn’t perfect, so sometimes, customers instead take to the Web to write about bad experiences.
In a recent study from online company Yodle, 90 percent of consumers reported that they read online reviews about businesses before making a decision about who to hire or where to go. A bad review, then, could possibly deter a future customer from choosing any given company. Instead of panicking and fearing the worst, small business owners could make this an opportunity to turn things around and gain some fans.
“Bad online reviews can be a good thing for a company, because they provide good market research,” Katherine Heaviside, president of a New York public relations company, said to Long Island Business News. “Certainly, everyone winces when they see them – but they are opportunities.”
Small businesses are often stretched thin in terms of manpower, but owners can enlist the help of reputation monitoring services to help them keep track of their online reputation. These services cost money, but nontraditional lenders like National Funding offer working capital so business owners can make sure their reputation is intact.
Owners who spot any online complaints or less than glowing reviews online may want to jump at the opportunity to fire off a response immediately. Instead, they should take the time to assess the situation and devise a response plan. It’s key that customers feel like they are really being listened to and that their complaints or concerns aren’t being ignored.
“People are most often motivated to write a bad review because they feel they haven’t gotten the respect they deserve,” Heaviside said to LIBN. “Reaching out in person can offset a lot of this.”