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In the past few years, consumers have become increasingly aware of their purchasing power, and this shift has led to the rise of online reviews. Online reviews are now an important part of the buying process for many customers. But do they affect your business? Especially if some of those reviews aren’t glowing? Here’s what you should know.
As a business owner, you know that reviews are critical to your success. They help potential customers make a decision about whether doing business with you is worth their time and money. They can also help you understand what products and services your current customers need from you.
Reviews allow consumers to share information about their experiences with other people, creating a space where customers can build relationships and trust. The more positive reviews your company receives from past clients, the more confidence potential new clients will have in working with you.
But the thing is, what are the reviews, who wrote them and what website they were written on.
Related: How to use reviews to grow your business
Reviewers and their criteria
There are three main types of reviewers: customers/users, organizations and experts. Customers are the most common type of reviewer; these are people who have actually used the product or service and want to share their experience with others.
Many people don’t realize that companies that review products and services for profit are biased. They have to be: they are businesses and they have to make money. It stands to reason that a company paying to review your product or service will want you to buy theirs — and if you don’t, they’ll lose money, so they’ll try anything to get you to buy, like filtering out good reviews or giving you an unfair rating.
There are also people who don’t use the product but still feel compelled to comment on it — and sometimes those reviews can be just as powerful as those from actual users.
It is also not always clear whether the reviewer actually used a particular item for its intended purpose. If you’re looking at reviews to decide whether or not a particular product fits your needs, it’s important to read between the lines and see what reviewers are saying beyond their initial impressions.
Whether your business is doing well or not, you are bound to come across bad reviews from various people and review sites. If you find yourself trying to redeem your product after what appears to be an unfair ruling, here’s what you should do.
How to respond to bad reviews
When responding to negative reviews from customers who had a bad experience (whether it’s about your product or service), you should always keep a few things in mind:
Be polite and respectful at all times. Good manners go both ways; when you respond to bad reviews politely and politely, other potential customers will notice how professional your company is and take their chances of doing business with you instead of taking theirs elsewhere.
Answer quickly! If someone leaves feedback about a problem they had while using one of your products/services online via social media channels such as Twitter or Facebook, then get in touch immediately to not only resolve the issues, but also to avoid further issues such as further complaints against you because others might think that there is no way for someone else with similar problems to get help from those responsible for creating that product/service.
Related: 5 Ways to Accept Online Reviews – Good or Bad – and Win New Clients
Pay attention to online reviews, but don’t let them overpower your business
While you should pay attention to online reviews and respond accordingly, don’t let them overwhelm you or dictate how you run your business. There are several reasons for this:
You can’t control what people say about you in their own words—and that’s okay! The fact is, even if someone was disappointed with their experience at your restaurant, hotel, or spa (or whatever), they can still leave positive feedback if they enjoyed themselves overall. While it’s certainly worth responding when negative comments arise, remember that it’s not always necessary or possible to change someone’s opinion of an entire company based on one person’s experience at one location or event.
The negative comments are probably outnumbered by the positive ones! In fact, many people who write negative reviews never bother reviewing companies again because they feel there’s no point — they assume all companies are going to be terrible, so why bother? Remembering this helps keep things in perspective: while one bad review may seem like the end of the world right now (because we live and breathe our business), most businesses actually have dozens more fans than their detractors!
Related: Want a Successful Business? Focus on these 5 things
At the end of the day, what matters most is how you get the job done. You can’t control what people say about you on social media, but you can control how you react to them.
If someone leaves a negative review, don’t try to argue with them or get defensive. Instead, take what they say as an opportunity to improve your business for everyone – and offer an apology if appropriate.
Remember: There are two sides to every story, and one person’s experience is not equal to everyone else’s. People who leave negative reviews may not be happy with their purchase for any number of reasons — they may just be having a bad day, or they may have had unrealistic expectations to begin with. By answering correctly, you will show others that their experience is also important.