Did you know that a single bad review drives away one in ten potential customers?
In today’s increasingly digital landscape, online ratings and reviews are one of the top factors influencing purchase decisions, second only to price. In fact, 97% of customers consult product reviews when making a purchase decision. With stats like that, it’s clear preventing negative reviews is now a necessity, not a luxury, for business owners that want to thrive in today’s saturated marketplace.
How many of your bad reviews could be prevented by sharing the right information, at the right time, based on the unique needs of your customers? Personalization builds brand loyalty, improves customer satisfaction, and creates a positive brand association for your customers. It’s also key to avoiding negative reviews.
8 Tips to Avoid Bad Reviews
Read on for eight tips on how to avoid negative reviews and build lifelong customer relationships, through the powers of personalization.
1. Make a great first impression
If you want to avoid negative reviews, the first rule of thumb to follow? Make a great first impression. The very first time your customer makes a purchase, it’s important to make that initial experience as engaging and helpful as possible.
One of the best ways to do this is to follow up on an initial purchase during the first 30 days, with helpful tips on how to use the product. By providing personalized support along the way, you can build customer trust and open the gate to a lifelong relationship. Aim to shine a light into the typical black hole of communication to delight customers even before the product hits their doorstep!
2. Prioritize reviews
Another way to prevent negative reviews is to focus on growing your amount of reviews. The more online reviews your business has, the more legitimate your brand seems. Not to mention, if the majority of your reviews are positive, online readers will take lackluster reviews less seriously. Research shows that purchase probability spikes when average reviews are between 4.2 and 4.5 stars.
There are multiple avenues to build your business’s online reviews, including Google Reviews, Google My Business, Yelp, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media also offers the chance to reshare any positive reviews you’re tagged in and thank your customers for their business. A win-win for both parties!
3. Take control of reviews
Another important part of preventing negative reviews is to take control of your reviews. This means making your brand the ultimate source of reviews, even if you don’t have any reviews yet. Create a section on your website dedicated to reviews, and ask any loyal customers to be the first to post something positive about the products you sell that they have come to love.
Further, make your reviews work for you. Instead of the two negative reviews being among a few, ensure their voice doesn’t impact your company image by having several positive reviews. You may not be able to make every single customer happy, but if there is one bad review amongst many, it is less likely to stand out. The solution to pollution is dilution, after all!
4. Respond to reviews
97% of consumers who read a business’s reviews also read the business’s response to those reviews, according to a survey by BrightLocal. That means it’s equally important to respond to online customer reviews, even negative ones, with professionalism, friendliness, and genuine compassion.
First, always thank the reviewer for taking the time to leave a review and patronizing your business. Then, if the review is negative, seek out a solution that could improve the experience of the disgruntled customer.
Taking the time to respond to negative reviews with courtesy and professionalism will win your brand fans in the long run.
5. Make an early connection with your customers
If you want to prevent negative customer reviews, it’s also important to connect with customers immediately after the initial engagement. As soon as a customer makes a purchase, it’s your job as a business owner to forge a meaningful, real connection with the customer.
The easiest way to reinforce the customer’s decision to patronize your business is to make it simple for customers to reach out to your business with questions or concerns. A simple tactic to achieve this is an SMS messaging program. 86% of businesses report higher engagement with SMS vs. email outreach, and consumers are 4.5 more likely to reply to an SMS message than an email.
A personalized, two-way SMS conversation gives your new customer a chance to ask important questions about their new purchase, troubleshoot common issues, and make sure the setup goes smoothly. This kind of personalized attention after purchase not only helps to stoke trust in your business as a worthwhile, useful source of information beyond purchase, but it also ensures the best possible customer experience. And of course, this all leads to more positive online reviews and prevents negative reviews.
6. Ensure your customers understand the product
Another way to create a positive impression of your business and prevent negative reviews is to help customers be successful with their new product, right out of the gate.
A personalized, two-way SMS conversation is an excellent tool for this. Through personalized product messages like tips, alerts, and purchase recommendations, at exactly the right time, you can help customers sidestep common pitfalls and make product setup and maintenance a breeze.
Plus, as a business owner, SMS messaging also serves as the perfect way to learn more information about your customers, like product usage data, environment, and skill level. By creating a bank of data on your customer in the early stages, you can continue to craft more informative, personalized messaging in the future that will best serve their needs.
By ensuring customers understand their product, you can build their trust in your brand - and avoid a negative review on common complaints like confusing setup instructions or lack of information on maintenance.
7. Personalize customer connections
One more way to prevent negative reviews is to personalize your customer connections.
This means, once an avenue of communication is established (for example, via 2-way SMS messaging), it’s critical to keep the communication flowing between you and the customer, through the dispersal of highly relevant, useful, and personalized information over time, at the right time.
As a business owner, you can ask the customer questions and respond with the best, most tailored information, alerts, and purchase recommendations based on their individual usage, needs, and location. This personalized messaging will grow the connection between your business and customer and create a positive brand experience for the customer with your business.
By increasing the person-to-person communication after a purchase through custom messaging, your business has the chance to increase the likelihood of positive reviews and avoid a negative review.
8. Ask for reviews!
Finally, a great way for your business to prevent negative reviews and build more positive reviews is to encourage your customers to leave more reviews.
Make it easy for your customers to leave a review by:
- Including a QR code that leads to a review platform on a receipt
- Including a link to leave a review on your social media platforms
- Sending an SMS request to leave a review online, with an easy-to-click link. Your email review may just go to spam, reach your customers where they are with an SMS message, rather than an email
Everyone wants to believe their opinion matters. Let your customers know their thoughts and opinions count, and ask them to leave you a review!
Start Preventing Negative Reviews with Blustream
Best way to prevent a negative review? Triage the issue before the bad review is written.
Blustream helps with exactly this. We help businesses ask for reviews – knowing that the review will be five stars.
With Blustream. brands increase authentic positive reviews and proactively decrease the negatives that impact the bottom line. Blustream Unboxing Express improves customer satisfaction and increases retention by automating personalized, two-way SMS conversations.
Blustream uses product usage data, environment, and owner skill level to trigger personalized product messages including tips, alerts, and purchase recommendations, at exactly the right time.
Personalized SMS messaging is the key to building lifelong customer relationships and avoiding negative reviews. It all starts with a text!
Get started today with Blustream today: https://getstarted.blustream.io/selfserve