When a business magnate of this calibre tells you that - you know it to be true.
Positive feedback is great, but negative customer feedback can be absolutely invaluable to any business, big or small. Picture this - a pizza shop makes fantastic pizza, but struggles with orders and doesn't know why. A customer leaves a review that says their website is difficult to use, has an outdated menu and higher prices than in store.
Light bulb moment! This is why the orders are on the low at this shop. This customer has just told the pizza shop owner what he needs to do to improve his business, and he did it for free.
Get why all feedback is paramount to business? Awesome! Now, follow our guide on how to best handle customer reviews, and your business will never put a foot wrong.
Got a negative review? Take forever to respond and the customer will think that you don't care. Reply to a review as soon as you can to let the customer know that their opinion is valued and that they are valued.
If possible, get in touch with the customer offline, either by phone or email. Along with providing a personal touch and going the extra mile for the customer, this can help to take the potentially heated issue offline.
A disgruntled business owner rudely responding to customer feedback is never a good look. Be nimble, but also take the time to think about what you're going to say. Be polite and constructive. If there is merit in the customer's complaint, make sure you take the necessary steps to remedy the issue for all parties involved.
- Don't tolerate defamation
Constructive criticism is great, but there is a clear difference between constructive and destructive. If you get a review that includes offensive language, is vilifying and abusive, and is overall defamatory - ask the review or social media site to take it down. As long as it meets the site's defamatory review guidelines, they will take it down. In many cases you'll also need to have claimed your business listing for them to do so, so make sure you're on top of that.
You can't respond to reviews if you don't know what's being said. Monitor your business' online presence or employ someone, an agency (like Zwift!) to do this for you. You can also set up Google Alerts for your business - and you will get emails every time your business is mentioned online.
Take reviews seriously, especially the negative ones. Pretending they are not there will not make them go away. The vast majority of customers don't want to destroy your business, and are simply expressing their experiences. Take reviews on merit as they very well may just tell you how to improve your business.
There is nothing wrong about asking customers to leave reviews for your business. On the contrary, it shows that your business is proactive, on the ball and cares about what its customers think. Be sure to offer a reward for every review left - a customer will take time out of their day to do something for you, so be nice, and return the favour.
- Share the love, and the constructive love too
Share reviews with your employees. They are integral to your business so they need to know what customers are saying. And not just the positive - share the negative, or the 'constructive love' as well.
It's not a blame game so don't play that card, and single an employee out - it's not what it's about. But if a customer leaves a review that says your customer service needs improvement - everyone needs to know. Not because it's someone's fault, but because it's everyone's opportunity. And of course, celebrate the goodies; boost team morale by sharing a great review - everyone loves a compliment, even when they say they don't.
Got a positive review? Hooray! Your hard work is paying off. Positive reviews are a fantastic word of mouth for any business as a staggering 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. So if a customer has left your business a positive review, be sure to thank them for it. Send them a voucher to use for next time, reply to their great review or get in touch with them directly. We can guarantee they will appreciate it, and become an even stronger advocate for your business.
Responding to customer reviews is not rocket science, but it does require consistency, diligence and a bit of flair.
Make sure you or someone at your business is responsible for keeping on top of reviews and feedback. Or, consult a professional like Zwift to help out!