Online reviews aren’t just valuable for search engine algorithms and prospective customers and clients; they can offer you insights about how customers view your business, if there are any weak spots to shore up and if one service or product is outperforming others.
While you’re keeping up with trends and researching new social media platforms, don’t neglect your business’s reviews; they could be one of the best resources you have in learning about and strategizing for your business.
In this blog, we’re showing you how to glean valuable information from your business’s positive, neutral and negative reviews.
Positive reviews are likely to highlight your products or services that your customers enjoyed the most.
For example, a review could mention how much a customer liked a restaurant’s new weekly appetizer deals. Because of this, the restaurant may go on to make an entire, expanded menu of appetizer specials. Because the business studied their positive reviews, the restaurant was able to capitalize on that information and directly meet customer wants in a new way.
A positive review could include a shout out to a helpful customer service representative. The business could take that information and internally reward their employee or create a new award system for others to work towards.
Positive reviews show the current strengths of your business and can spark creativity on how to make them stronger and add more value to your customers.
Neutral reviews are never truly neutral. They require just as much attention and analysis as any other type of review.
When approaching these middle-ground reviews, don’t get stuck on the star rating. There’s always more to find within lukewarm reviews.
Typically, a neutral review will be mixed with both positive and negative information about a business.
Within a neutral review, you'll find valuable feedback directly from the customer. This feedback highlights both the strengths of your business and areas that may need improvement. Look carefully to see whether the customer had a positive experience with one aspect of your business and a negative experience with another aspect or if the same service, product or employee held both positive and negative experiences.
Depending on what you learn from the review, you know how to further capitalize or how to take steps to strengthen weak areas and right any wrongs.
Behind a neutral review is a customer who may not have been entirely satisfied with their experience with your business. Without the proper response, such customers are more likely to explore your competition for better options.
Let your neutral reviews be a lesson in how to further thrill and delight your customers so that they continue to choose your business whenever they have a need it fills.
Keeping a level head is important when dissecting negative reviews. Going on the defensive or offensive can cloud helpful information that could spark valuable business decisions moving forward.
Most businesses have at least a few low star reviews (if not, consider yourself lucky). Taking the time to understand them can be beneficial to improving your business.
The best way to approach analyzing negative reviews is to look for patterns. If you spot recurring themes in those negative reviews, with the same issues cropping up again and again, dig deeper into that and use it address areas that need attention.
For example, if an auto repair shop has five negative reviews and all of them comment on the slow service of the shop, that’s a pattern to take note of.
From there, the auto repair business could focus their efforts on improving efficiency in order to meet the concerns that were highlighted in their negative reviews.
By doing so, they are resolving the concerns of prior customers and eliminating the possibility of future negative reviews related to this issue at hand.
There will always be one off negative reviews about something that no other review ever mentions. Customers leave negative reviews for many different reasons, and you don’t always have to take internal action on all of them. But taking the time to thoroughly read, understand and respond to each negative review can save and improve your business’s reputation in the long run.
We suggest assessing and addressing what’s in your business’s control. Sometimes negative comments can be extreme and unreasonable, but others may ask for simple, doable changes.
Address the changes that have the biggest influence on your business and are within your resources to improve.
Take negative reviews as advice on how to improve your business (even if they weren’t written politely). They could lead you to discover a consistent concern that you can resolve for your future customers.
All reviews hold lessons to be learned. Learning about your customers and their personal experiences with your business will always set you up to make the most effective and strategic decisions that make your business grow.
While reading reviews can be challenging, particularly negative reviews, the benefits they can offer your business will far outlast the momentary discomfort.
Because managing your business's reviews can be difficult, RevLocal is here to help. We have a group of experienced digital marketing experts who specialize in providing guidance and feedback for review management.