In hopes of any business being successful you have to be open to critique, regardless of it’s nature. You have to soak up the ill-intended negative feedback and focus on all the constructive criticism you can receive while also not let yourself deter too much from your own values.
Being the owner of a company today means pretty much being the owner of an online embassy for your ideas and products. And open reviews are there to offer you the right tools to showcase that you don’t hide nor run away from the responsibility of facing your customer’s truth. Transparent communication is key to become credible in the eyes of the doubtful. And there are many doubtful people out there that can’t know much about your honorable intentions. They need to know that they can trust your products and that they can place their faith in your attention being given to them. And the best way you can achieve that is to enable your customers the ability to write reviews and interact with your website, which should act as the sales pitch for your business.
There are many ways to support this behavior while still negating the troll culture or the possible hateful review bombing from one of your competitors. There are solutions to demand a more complex review, a system that analyzes what’s being written and sent to the server, then black lists anything that includes malicious words, overly repeated catchphrases and texts that seem to fit the wording of bots. For this matter both Google and Yelp can provide solid methods to filter incoming reviews and we would strongly advise to use Google’s tools for the first time doing this as Yelp is a bit tricky to configure in such way that you won’t lose out on legit reviews.
“Authenticity and organic interactions matter a whole lot.”
However, before you even reach the point where you have to consider all these aspects, the most important thing is to get your customers to interact. And for that you need to have a consistent social media communication. Always addressing valid issues and complaints raised by your customers. Reply and engage in conversations that show that you care in friendly ways. You also need to not be too polite and pragmatic, not sound to robotic. The preferred mindset is that you’re talking to a friend. Authenticity and organic interactions matter a whole lot. Share great moments that are not too private. Honest and funny or memorable work stories, great photos, your song of the year and why not, the latest meme you’ve found funny (but not offensive).
You can also take advantage of a customer’s satisfaction. You can try and persuade them into dropping a review, making use of their momentary happiness to consolidate your reputation. Be professional, yet appreciative. You can do so by choosing automated e-mail senders which can be configured to deliver your personal message.
“Every business should capitalize on the people’s wish to make their story and opinion heard.”
If you have an e-store you can add the review option for all of your products, a quite common scheme to raise credibility and reputation as a solid and transparent provider of services and/or products. Other common ways would be to use the review tools integrated in your active social media platforms. Delicately push your customers to these pages where the act of leaving a review almost becomes an intuitive action to take.
All in all, the art of reviewing is almost integral to any company’s success. And the more you are in contact with your customers the more they will feel familiarized enough to share their experience. Every business should capitalize on the people’s wish to make their story and opinion heard. Once you encourage them to do so in a way that’s not forceful nor invasive or distant and pragmatic, people will gladly contribute to what will be the main driving force of your business: your reputation.