Customers are and always will be king!

But today customers are also more vocal and sometimes more cynical than ever before.

A consumer survey by Bright Local, a leading SEO and online marketing company suggests that over 90% of consumers read and use reviews to evaluate local businesses before engaging with the business.

The fact is consumers love reviews! With Google My Business Maps reviews have been a solid fixture on Google’s for some time now and they are here to stay.

With the world going crazy about online reviews, it’s great to know that positive reviews have a positive impact on your local SEO rankings. In fact, in an article by Moz, 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors according to Google and other search engines take into account 10% of your site’s online reviews to determine your website’s rank!

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But what about a negative or poor review?

Ouch, they can hurt! But you simply can’t ignore a negative review.

The most important reasons being, customers expect a relatively quick response, usually within 7-days or less, and the nearly 80% on consumers feel that a business that responds to reviews, positive or negative, is one who engages with their customers and cares about the consumers.

So, how should a business respond to a negative review? We believe the best way is by acting in a positive and professional business manner. Here are 4x top tips to convert a negative review into a positive experience.

Turning a negative review into a positive experience

Tip 1. Don’t ignore the review. Keep ego out of it, be honest and make every effort to correct things even if it is not your mistake! When responding, don’t let anger and frustration take over. Let cooler heads prevail and Apologise, if needed, by saying you are sorry for their experience and explain how this is unusual in your business.

Tip 2. In some cases, respond with an offer to discuss the complaint in private or via phone.

Tip 3. Put it all into perspective, in business, it is highly unlikely that you will always provide a five-star experience to every customer. A few bad experiences are inevitable. Take each one as an opportunity to learn, develop and improve. In fact, a few negative reviews might help your reviews look natural and normal.

Tip 4. If the reviewer is just trying to stir things up for the heck of it by writing a negative review, don’t engage in a back and forth conversation online. Revert to tip #2. They’ should get the message.

Many businesses fear negative reviews, without realising that they are generally easy to deal with and can actually have a positive effect on your business.