As consumers, we turn to online reviews to make buying decisions. We inherently trust our peers to offer inside information on products and businesses we are curious about. However, as sales and marketing professionals, those reviews take on a whole new meaning. Upset customers can hop online and post negative information anytime they wish, and even if the company resolves their issue, few ever go back and update their initial reviews.
Any business can be subject to bad reviews at anytime. Some of those reviews are founded, some are not. But there is no real way to tell when they will strike. So what are sales and marketing teams to do if negative reviews start tarnishing their employer?
Know What’s Being Said
The first step in combatting bad reviews is to know what’s out there. Search for “[Name of Company] Reviews” and/or “[Company Product Name] Reviews.” This should kick back a number of review sites and forums that show what customers are saying. Read both the positive and the negative. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the landscape, it’s time to spring into action.
Marketing and Customer Service Must Respond
Customer service and marketing should get together to work out a plan for responding to negative reviews. Get online and reply to each one, expressing that the company is sorry for the bad experience, and provide a way for the customer to contact you to resolve the issue. Direct the customer to an individual, not a generic customer service line. Once the issue has been resolved, ask the customer if they would consider updating their review.
Even if the bad review stays online, future customers will see that the team gives attention to dissatisfied customers, and that can go a long way towards combating negative comments.
Ask For Positive Reviews
During interactions with happy customers, salespeople should ask if those individuals would consider writing a positive review. This should be a regular step in the account management process. People are often far more motivated to write negative reviews than positive reviews, so sales teams must ask as many customers as possible, as often as possible, in an effort to raise their review status online.
Prevent Bad Online Reviews from the Start
As the old saying says, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If a barrage of negative reviews all complain about the same issue, the problem is clearly not the customer. When you see a pattern, you must identify what went wrong, when it went wrong, and fix it immediately. Commit to providing top-notch service at all times, and be sure to monitor customer satisfaction when rolling out new products or services.
Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
Someone should be watching online reviews at all times to catch trouble before it strikes. Negative reviews should be taken seriously, even if the customer seems impossible to please. Most companies get caught scrambling into defense because they didn’t know what people were saying about them online.
In today’s hyperconnected world, companies need sales and marketing professionals who know their way around the digital marketplace. They must be savvy when it comes to social media, online searches and online reviews. If you are on the lookout for strong, forward-thinking sales and marketing pros, contact the recruiting team at CSS ProSeach today. We are a leader in sales and marketing recruiting, and our experts have the experience to connect you with the talent you need to keep driving your business forward.