Your Company's Future Is In The Stars: Responding To Online Reviews, From One-Star To Five

Whether you use an online review monitoring service or interact with customers yourself, responding to online reviews is tantamount to the success of your brand. From one-star to five-star, each review can be a key to your success or failure. Here's why:

You Can Un-Do Disappointment

Customers are quick to drop bad reviews, as they're accustomed to instant gratification. If your product or service disappoints right away, a consumer may leave a negative review, thinking that's the end of it; however, when you, or a service representing you, steps in to apologize, explain and instruct, that consumer could change their mind about the situation as quickly as they dropped the low-star rating. In many other circumstances as well, a response from the seller can transform a negative review, simply because the customer feels like they're being heard.

Ignoring A Customer Often Means Losing Them

On the other hand, a person who leaves a one or two-star rating and is never addressed is very likely to avoid the business in the future, as well as inform their friends and followers of the unfortunate experience. Although you may feel like pretending a low-star rating doesn't exist, there's always a person behind it, with real feelings and the real potential to harm your online reputation permanently.

Google Is Watching

Not only do Google and other search engines know when your business is reviewed negatively, but they also respond accordingly, by diminishing your company's visibility in search results. Search engines may also be able to detect fake reviews, giving them even more power to influence your company's success. Interacting with reviewers could boost your SEO, too, giving you even more reason to monitor your online reviews than ever.

Addressing Reviews Improves Your Business

Legitimate and informative low-star reviews should be considered usable feedback. Your product images might not be true-to-color or your sizes may not be as standardized as you thought. Whatever the reasons for one, two or three-star reviews, use that data to improve your products, process, and, if applicable, customer service.

The future of your company really is in the stars and how you respond to them. You can, in fact, change a one-star review into three or more stars, and in doing so, change a customer's mind about whether they do business with you in the future or direct their spending elsewhere, taking an unknown number of friends and followers with them. Use an online review monitoring service if you don't have time to address the feedback yourself, but just don't ignore these crucial indicators of your company's health and, most likely, future.