Online reviews can be a tricky area for businesses. Overwhelmingly, online sentiments about businesses are reflecting on a negative experience. Positive comments do appear, and those can be invaluable towards the health of brand. The real truth behind online comments, good or bad, is that business leaders should encourage them. Here’s three compelling reasons:
1. It Shows You Care
Businesses should always be listening and engaging with their customers, because without them there is no business. This may seem elementary, yet numerous organizations have taken a pledge to completely ignore negative online commentary. Not only should businesses provide their customers a platform to create reviews, they should be responding respectfully and professionally. By responding to negative comments, businesses can show the customer that they regret what happened and offer a resolution. On the other hand, responding to positive commentary shows you appreciate that person’s time for praising the brand. Any time a business can project compassion for their customers, they absolutely should.
2. Flags Important Issues
Encouraging online reviews can also help a business catch potentially damaging issues before they become widespread. For example, two customer reviews may separately complain that their local retail stores are out of a business’s product. A manager scoping out customer reviews online could catch these comments nearly in real time and realize each customer is in the same territory. That way, the next cycle of ordering for that territory could be boosted to ensure the issue does not happen again. Without critical insights like this, major problems, such as numerous stock-outs across an entire territory, may be arising outside of a manager’s view.
3. Free Consumer Research
In the pre-digital age, businesses used to invest heavily in conducting consumer research. Knowing what consumers want, what they do not want, and what negative experiences they have had are all valuable pieces of data to have. For businesses today to not be taking advantage of online reviews would be shocking to those business leaders who conducted paper and pen research before the internet. While the results will not be as organized, lacking the appropriate prompts, they are still valuable. It can help managers get a better idea of what consumers expect from their product or service, and even suggest ideas that leadership would never think to include. Online reviewers provide this type of free labor for the betterment of businesses; taking advantage of it is the only intelligent choice.
Erin P. Friar
Erin Friar is a Content Marketing Journalist Intern at Repsly, Inc. and is completing a Journalism degree at Suffolk University. She is a master of grammar and is passionate about creating fresh content to help foster efficiency and overall success in small businesses.