How online reviews can work for you

It’s no secret that online reviews have a major influence on how potential customers feel about your business, and ultimately, whether or not they purchase your products or services at all. Endless studies have found that almost 90% of customers say they trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from their friends and family, so it makes sense that positive reviews mean more customers, and negative reviews mean fewer.

Whether you’re getting positive, or even negative reviews regularly from your customers, you can use this feedback to your advantage, and build on and improve the service your customers receive.


How to deal with positive feedback

Positive feedback will always be great for your business; whether they're on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or on an official review site like Trip Advisor, they effectively amount to free advertising for your business! Use these as reminders of what you are doing well, and stick at it so you keep getting good reviews in the future.

You may think that receiving positive reviews is good enough, and you can just read the review and then go about your day, but you would be dead wrong. You need to be responding to all feedback, be it positive or negative, and the best way to do that is to at least thank the customer for their input.


How to deal with negative feedback

Okay, so this is the big one that no one likes to talk about – negative feedback. Nobody likes receiving it, but what do you do if someone (or everyone) does happen to leave you a bad review?

The first thing you should always do when you receive a negative online review is to respond as quickly as possible. If you appear to care about the feedback you get, rather than just ignoring it, you will go up in people’s estimation which is a big help when it comes to rebuilding your reputation. The second thing you can do is to say “thank you” and let the customer know that you will be working on resolving the problem.

Also, whatever you do, don’t ever delete bad feedback! It may sound tempting, but it looks like you just don’t care, and if someone screengrabs the feedback, it will make you and your business look even worse.


How to increase engagement and receive more feedback

So, what do you do if you're not receiving any feedback about your products or services? Firstly, you need to make sure that you have somewhere that people can actually post reviews, whether that be a Facebook page, aYelp profile, or a website. Once you're set up, feel free to actually ask your customers to leave you a review. You can do this by sending customers an email asking them for feedback after they buy a product or use your service - or if you have a website, you can insert a pop-up that comes up periodically. Importantly, remember to include a link to where you would like the review to be posted.

Keep in touch with your customers, so they know you're listening. Social media is a great way to get a conversation going with your customers, though you'll find many more great tips on the fivesquid blog on how t0 keep your audience engaged in other ways to0.

Don’t forget that online reviews can make or break a business, so embrace the comments, and make all your customer reviews work for you!