In March, we wrote about a Yodle survey that discussed business owner’s thoughts of online reviews. Our 2nd point in that article is excerpted below:
I wonder what the answers would have been if Yodle had used the term “feedback” instead of “review”? One of the biggest issues with online today is the negative connotation of review sites. Bizyhood enables online conversations – the idea isn’t to get 100% positive reviews. Frankly, that would not be realistic. The idea is to show your customers and potential customers the type of owner you are by highlighting your excellent customer service skills and interactions online. We believe small business owners will enjoy asking for feedback – they already do! They just need to direct their customers online so the entire world can share in the conversation.
We understand that this is a sensitive subject – nobody likes to be told they are doing something wrong or that somebody doesn’t like them or their service. But we all know that we can do better – and there is no denying that feedback of any type helps us get better.
It’s also important to understand the psychology of what people say to us. People generally give negative reviews primarily to get attention. People generally give negative feedback because they want something addressed or fixed. The best thing a business owner can do is respond to that attention in a positive fashion. Anybody that cares enough to say something they want improved will become your MOST LOYAL customer once you’ve successfully addressed their issue. Is this simply semantics? We think not. There are people that will never be satisfied – they simply want to vent. Let those reviews stand – the only reason that people are so bothered by them is that typically come along with a “score” that impacts your overall rating – and studies have shown that a 1-star drop in your score can reduce your business. The fact is, as a small business you need to have a way to promote, highlight and respond to feedback – these are the things that make your business better, and the type of information you’ll be happy for your current and future customers to see. You want to promote this even if the feedback is critical – because people are happy to get great service – and that includes getting a business to respond quickly, fairly and appropriately to feedback.
For those people focusing on negative reviews? There are some people that are just simply miserable. You thank them for their “feedback” and move on.
Businesses, embrace the feedback! In addition to improvements to customer engagement and satisfaction, online conversations are good for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well. And the content is being written by the best marketers possible – your customers. That cannot be understated.