Managing Your Online Reviews
When you buy a product online or are looking to engage the services of a firm, don’t you look at the reviews, before you spend your hard-earned money? It’s a natural human tendency. And the higher number of good reviews you see the more confident you become of the services that are offered.
Reviews are a great way to showcase to your prospective customers, what good things people have said about your services. But remember when you open those doors, there are bound to be some unsatisfied customers, no matter what you do. And they aren’t always going to leave you a kind feedback.
Is it a good idea to show all reviews online?
For one thing, it makes you and your firm transparent, that’s a big plus in the eyes of your customers. It also keeps you on your toes. And a bad or downright crazy review is not always a bad thing.
But let’s start with the good reviews. After all who doesn’t like a pat on the back, or a word or two of appreciation?
Here are guidelines you should follow for good reviews:
- Respond with a Thank you, that’s the least you can do. If you go beyond that let them know that you appreciate and care about their business.
As this is in the public domain, your current and future customers will be able to see that you’re engaged and responsive. That you don’t take them for granted.
- Be Helpful: If your client mentions a specific product of yours that solved one of their issues… it’s a perfect place to add some more information to educate them. If they bought something because a product was out of stock, let them know when you expect to restock it.
Going out of your way will ensure that your client feels heard; it will give your customers see you as someone who really cares.
- Use it to your benefit: The more times your brand name is mentioned the better it is for building your legal practice online. When the search engine web bots visit your site, it indexes the number of times your brand name was mentioned and also any keywords that your site is using.
Don’t overdo it, but mention your website or firms name in comments where appropriate.
Now, let’s look at what to do with the not-so-good reviews. Rather than taking a review personally, look at it as an opportunity to improve on the things and provide a great experience for your clients.
- Quick Fix: If there’s a minor error or the customer isn’t able to reach you, or your phone lines are down… respond to the reviews. Fix the errors and thank them for bringing it to your notice.
- Ask specific questions: Rather than being reactive, you can ask questions to get to the root of the matter. Things like the time and date of appointment , the name of the person the appointment was with etc will help you get the facts, or help you flag inappropriate reviews.
- Don’t get into an online brawl: Specially if you get a rant of a review on social networks, it’s a good idea not to get into an argument. You would be drawing more attention to yourself if you respond. And don’t even think about emailing the person… it might end up on social media again.
The best way is to call the person and resolve it amicably if possible over the phone. Offer to fix the issue if they are willing to retract their statement. It’ll cost you much less than hiring an internet reputation expert.
We hope these tips will help you better manage your online reviews.
Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Managing Partner
Ed can be reached at (or visit his websites)