Online Reviews and Ratings: A Short Guide for Companies

Reviews by your customers are becoming more and more important for sales and turnover figures. They have a strong influence on your customers’ buying behaviour and are today an important decision criterion for your customers.

When shopping online, searching for a suitable restaurant or workshop — the customer decides with the help of the customer reviews. Business or services are irrelevant. Adequate handling of customer ratings can have a lasting effect on the external image of the company.

Reacting to online reviews

Take criticism seriously and react appropriately. If you manage to take the criticism voiced seriously and react to the reviews accordingly, you show that you have a great interest in your customers.

1. Dealing with positive customer reviews

Positive customer reviews are pleasant and good for your business. For this you can thank the evaluating customer and show him that you appreciate his positive feedback. This shows not only this one customer how important the opinion of your customers is to you, but also to all others.

Positive reviews can also be passed on to the team to motivate employees and improve the working atmosphere. However, it becomes more interesting with negative evaluations.

2. Dealing with negative customer reviews

A particularly quick response to customer reviews is needed when you receive negative feedback after actual mistakes have been made. Mistakes happen to everyone. However, the effect is in your hands when you answer the customer reviews. If you handle this professionally, customers are not necessarily deterred by negative reviews. If you apologize or offer the customer compensation, such as a gift certificate, you can often solve the problem quickly. The important thing is that you as a company also react to the negative reviews and implement improvements or changes based on this criticism.

However, if negative reviews are unjustified, you can ask the customer to correct their review. In case the problem is solved right after the review or a customer is mistaken, you can contact the customer.

If you find a negative fake rating or insult among the ratings, you can ask the rating platform to delete it. After the process is checked, the post will be removed. You should, however, comment on the review and explain why it will be removed. This way it will be clear to others that the rating was not justified or violated rating guidelines.

Overall, it is important to act neutrally and try to consider the reviews as neutral as possible. You should use all critical customer reviews — whether justified or not — for your internal process improvements. Analyse with your team the points of criticism and see if you can improve your product or your services in the criticized points. Such a reaction shows a high level of interest in customer feedback and is viewed extremely positively by many customers.

Use customer feedback as a marketing tool

Customer reviews not only influence the purchasing decisions of potential customers, they are also an extremely important marketing tool. With the adequate handling of customer feedback you set a new focus on customer relations. You can advertise with your reviews and point out the advantages of your products with your help. For example, let the number of positive reviews flow into your marketing campaign

You can also include your top ratings on your landing page, for example. In this way, you will achieve at best an extended duration of stay of your customers on your landing page.

Once you have developed a good workflow in terms of customer feedback, you will quickly benefit from your appropriate response to your customers’ opinions. Make sure that potential customers find authentic reviews with equally authentic reactions from you and allow for positive and neutral as well as negative reviews.

Your potential customer uses the reviews when making a purchase decision and specifically looks for realistic assessments. Strengthen your customer relationship by responding quickly and professionally to the customer reviews and use the customer reviews as a marketing tool.

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