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How to improve your online reputation and customer reviews

Silvia Myers

Silvia Myers, Founder of Bright Cherry

11 October 2016

All of us have done it! All of us have gone online, researched a provider – and before we have decided to go with them, checked the online reviews to help make up our mind. It’s strange how the experiences of people whom we don’t know and might not even like or agree with, have suddenly influenced our decision to ‘yay’ or ‘nay’.

After the decision has been made and our money paid, we finally allow ourselves to make up our own mind about our experience and quite often it turns out to be totally different to the reviews researched online. After all, each and every one of us is a unique individual.

But what if you happen to be one of the poor providers who has suffered from bad reviews written by a handful of grumpy customers? What if you had a one-off wrong time, wrong place, wrong customer situation that has now been hunting you down preventing your business from reaching its potential?

Here are some tips of what you can do to turn that around:

  1. Find it.

I was surprised to find out that even in this fast moving digital age, there are still lots of organisations unaware that their brand is suffering from bad reviews. What’s happening online is happening offline too and if you don’t know about the reviews your brand is receiving, you can’t do anything about them. Use social media listening tools and make sure your organisation knows about every single word written about the brand. Knowing about it allows you to take action!

  1. Own it.

Lots of organisations that receive bad reviews hide it or ignore it. This tends to backfire. We suggest you own it instead.

It wasn’t so long ago when the Victorian Taxi Association tried to run an anti ride-sharing campaign with the infamous #yourtaxis hashtag – hoping that members of the public would post their great experiences from their taxi rides. But guess what, the opposite happened – #yourtaxis became a slogan for below average service, bad reviews and really poor customer experience. You’d think that the Association would treat this as valuable customer feedback and stand up to it, but no, that didn’t happen. The Association kept quiet and campaign disappeared from Twitter equally quietly no long after it had been launched. However, #yourtaxis hashtag travelled the world organically long after the campaign was killed.

What we suggest is to stand up to your customer feedback and own it. After all, your customers took the time to review your brand so they must be engaged and emotionally invested (even if it’s the wrong way around). If you need some tips on how to stand up to negative feedback, have a look at some of the best rated hotels on TripAdvisor. All of the negative reviews are responded to timely and very personally each containing a ‘thank you, this will allow us to improve’ message.

  1. Refresh it.

I’ve seen some of our clients suffering from old negative reviews long after they’ve invested valuable time and effort into improving their service. They might have a great transformation journey to showcase and be providing a fantastic experience for their customers – but if a search engine brings up all of the old negative reviews, their customers might never find out what an amazing experience they provide now.

We suggest to encourage your customers to provide new reviews on an ongoing basis. Give your customers a reason to interact with you online, review your services and most of all, make them feel comfortable about sharing what they really think and feel. If your customers know that you really appreciate their honest feedback, they will be more likely to write you a review.

How do you currently manage your brand reputation and ensure it truly reflects the service you provide? I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.

Silvia is the Founder of Bright Cherry, a customer centric consultancy specialising in helping entrepreneurs and small business owners understand their customers and build successful businesses around that. The fact is that 90% of entrepreneurs fail and one of the reasons is that majority of businesses don’t understand their target market. Get in touch to join the growing network of successful entrepreneurs committed to reach new heights through delivering to their customers’ wants and needs.