How to get better online reviews and turn negative reviews around

How to get better online reviews and turn negative reviews around

How to get better online reviews and turn negative reviews around

Get Better Online Reviews

In our last post, we talked about the importance of online reviews and how to avoid fake reviews. This time, we’ll focus on how to improve our own reviews, and what to do when negative reviews happen. Here are several tips to improve reviews, and your business in general:

  • Build reviews into your process. Perhaps the single best advice for businesses looking to improve reviews is to put them on auto-pilot. Systematically asking for reviews with each transaction helps you learn more about your audience, and your team’s performance, good or bad.
  • Timing is important in building a bank of positive reviews. For example, a mortgage lender we know automatically sends a satisfaction survey at the closing of each loan, when clients are excited about moving into their new homes. They also make it a practice to turn compliments into referrals. Staff members are trained so that at the moment they receive a compliment, they ask the client if they have friends or family who may also need financing.
  • More specific reviews are more powerful, so don’t be afraid to ask for details. For example, a review like “Online Presence Care is great!” sounds positive, but is very general and forgettable.  One of my favorite reviews came from a client who said “Online Presence Care has managed our website and social media for the last 3 years. And in that time, my business has quadrupled!”
  • Strive for visual impact and personalization. A positive review in print is good. One with a client’s full name, photo and some additional information such as a job title or background is better. A video review featuring a client talking about your business packs a powerful emotional appeal.

Online Presence Care Tips Blog Online Reviews How to Deal with Negative ReviewsTurn Negative Reviews Around

Good news about negative reviews
In fact, some negative reviews can actually drive more customer engagement and sales, according to HubSpot. However, it’s important to treat negative reviews with care to make sure your business won’t suffer:

  • Any response to is better than no response.  In fact, a business owner apologizing to a client online and describing the steps taken to make the situation right can build credibility and leave prospects with a favorable impression.
  • State the facts. Likewise, don’t let online misstatements about your business or unfounded criticism go unanswered. You don’t want an argument, but it’s a good opportunity for you to explain the situation and politely set the record straight. Stick to the facts, even if your reviewer does not.
  • Empathy counts. Remember, you can still acknowledge your client’s concern and disappointment even if the issue was not your fault. Sometimes, just by listening and letting people vent their frustrations, you can turn the situation around and salvage a relationship that could lead to future business.

Comments? If you’ve got questions or your own tips concerning online reviews, please share in the comments below!

Photo credit: PixaBay by freeGraphicToday

The fake review problem is growing. Here’s how to spot them.

The fake review problem is growing. Here’s how to spot them.

The fake review problem is growing. Here’s how to spot them.

The popularity of online reviews is booming. Unfortunately, so is the use of fake reviews.

Since 92% of consumers now read online reviews, and star ratings are the #1 factor consumers use to evaluate businesses, reviews can make or break a growing brand. A rave review from a customer who is passionate about your products or services is one of the quickest ways to build credibility and trust for your brand.   

Perhaps it’s not surprising in this age of fake news that we must deal with fake reviews. And because of these high stakes, fake reviews also are becoming more popular. It’s fairly simple for unscrupulous business owners to pay someone to write and submit fake reviews, and many times bogus reviews are hard to tell from the real thing.

Fighting back against fakes

To quickly get an opinion on whether a review on Amazon, Yelp or TripAdvisor is authentic, you can copy the the url of the product page in question and paste it into a nifty tool called Fakespot.

The example below shows Fakespot’s evaluation of Amazon reviews for Bose headphones. In this case, the Fakespot ratings are similar to the Amazon ratings, so the Amazon reviews appear to be authentic.

Why trust a computer to spot fake online reviews? In some cases computer programs are able to identify phony reviews with incredible accuracy. A team of researchers at Cornell University built a computer program to spot bogus reviews and tested against a panel of student volunteers.

The research results? Students identified fake reviews less than half the time, while computers using machine learning were able to tag fake reviews about 90 percent of the time. The Cornell University research was used to create a tool called Review Skeptic that enables consumers to test hotel reviews firsthand by pasting in review text.

The bottom line? Consumers should keep in mind that not all reviews are trustworthy. It’s a good practice to do a little extra research. Look carefully at reviews for odd language or those with exceptionally high or low ratings. If a review seems suspicious, it’s worth your time to check out some additional sources.

For example, the Bose headphones shown above also have positive reviews on CNET and Forbes. No guarantee you’ll love them, but better than relying on a single review – or multiple reviews – before you decide to buy.