Four ways to make sure your business shines online

Every year, hundreds of millions of consumers visit online feedback sites to help them make spending decisions. Here are some tips for maximizing positive reviews for your business, and for handling online criticism.

1.      Provide excellent service from the start. This may seem obvious, but the better your customer service is, the better your customer ratings will be. This applies not just specifically to customer service ratings, but also to overall ratings. Focus above all on meeting your customers’ needs and on making them feel good, and they will return the favor by writing favorable reviews.

2.      Remain level-headed.  While it may be frustrating to receive negative feedback, you must avoid getting too emotional; responding angrily to negative customer reviews will only exacerbate the problem. Whether your response is public or private, it is always best to be patient, polite, and diplomatic.  If you have trouble keeping your cool, it might be a good idea to appoint a trusted employee to handle customer reviews.

3.      Take criticism as an opportunity rather than as an insult.  No one likes receiving negative reviews.  However, they do provide important insight into how you can improve your business.  Try to remember that receiving some negative reviews may be inevitable, but they do lend authenticity to your business profile. Treat customer reviews seriously, implement constructive feedback, and take advantage of the free market research to make your business better than ever!

4.      Always seek out reviews, particularly from your happiest clients.  Positive reviews have a snowball effect.  As you accumulate more positive reviews, you will attract more business, and this cycle will cause both your customer base and your reviews to grow exponentially.  By asking customers for reviews, particularly those customers who are most pleased with your service, you can catalyze this process and take full advantage of the network effect.



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