It’s become a fact of life that no matter how well-loved your business is by your regular customers, someone at some point is going to leave a nasty comment or review. These happen for various reasons; some of them are even written for the sake of humour. Nowadays, people will post reviews online because it’s convenient, it’s easy to spread information (the most widely searched for commodity online), and just about anyone can do it.

Naturally with great online reviews comes great responsibility, and as a business owner you need to deal with these daily depending on what kind of a business you run. These three big mistakes we’re going to go over, however, are so commonly made that we couldn’t ignore them any longer. So let’s go over what these mistakes are and what business owners can do about them.

Why reviews matter for your business and website

You may be wondering why we focus on things like online reviews even though our services cater mostly to building new websites. The answer to us is actually very obvious:

Everyone is online now.

Being online means being a great deal more visible to customers, plus a lot of good reviews will influence buying behaviour (i.e. more people are likely to buy from you if the reviews are all great). A lot of would-be customers may not even realize they’re looking for your business specifically until they go online and read the reviews other people have left behind. Your appearance in search results matters, and that’s why your online reviews matter too.

In order to keep those who are loyal and referring your business to others, you need to put in the effort of upholding your online reputation. This means presenting customers with a beautiful, fast website and trustworthy and reliable communication services. In addition, you need to avoid doing the following mistakes below.

  1. Taking forever and a day to respond

Some businesses get a ton of reviews to respond to daily, while others not so much. Even if you fall into the latter category though, ignoring the reviews outright or taking your sweet time responding to a single comment really doesn’t give people a good impression of you and your company. It also won’t fix a poor situation such as a complaint made online about you.

Anytime there’s a lack of engagement between you and your customers, it’s a sign that you don’t care about what they think. That lack may be exactly why you’re not getting the best reviews. It will also only spread disdain and confirm to the naysayers that you are indeed not a business worth referring to.

  1. Escalating the situation

If you’ve ever read a comment that is so not true to the point where it makes you angry, that’s the best time to get away from the computer. No matter how fake or unpleasant the comment may be, getting angry, finger pointing, and any other negative emotional response is absolutely the worst thing to do. Responding emotionally will only escalate a bad situation into an even worse one, and it will lead to the consequence of other people viewing you as temperamental and nasty as the negative people are.

No matter what happened to you that day, or what the reasons may be that led to these kinds of reviews, leave your emotions and desire to blame others out of your business matters. Sometimes a simple apology is all the other person wants, so leave them one of those in a professional, courteous, and neutral way. It may be all that’s needed to get people back to your company.

  1. Not asking for reviews in the first place

It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the negative kinds of reviews that we forget positive ones exist too. You may be feeling hesitant about asking for reviews in order to avoid this kind of negativity, but that’s where the next mistake really comes in. Positive reviews, according to one study, are still an influential means of online marketing, and people do pay attention to them when looking up a company online they’re not familiar with.

Plus, it’s these kinds of reviews that can strengthen a business’s reputation as opposed to weaken it, so responding to these types of reviews should be on your to-do list, as well as asking for them. A simple “thank you” can go a long, long way to show customers that you are a) listening to them, b) grateful, which is a good trait for any business to have, and c) able to be reached. Your thanks doesn’t have to be long or verbose; simply saying thanks is enough to say to customers who took the time to post their compliment.

A great website helps too

A lot of the most common reasons business owners get negative reviews online is due to a lot of issues:

  • The website is slow to load, and doesn’t respond well
  • Leaving a comment is difficult and overcomplicated
  • You have a website, but don’t respond on it frequently or at all
  • Your customer service online is terrible (even though offline, you’re doing great)
  • There’s no means to reach you on a website, because it doesn’t exist!

If this all sounds like the problems your business needs help with, why not ask us? Give V3 Media a call if you need a new website and, ultimately, an improved online presence and hopefully more glowing reviews than not!