Don’t Let Bad Reviews Ruin Your Business

One negative customer tweet gets shared in fraction of seconds. One bad review on the website can be taken more seriously than hundred other good reviews. If online marketing is the need of the hour, Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a necessity to survive.

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A bad review need not dishearten you.

A CONSUMER in today’s world has a wide audience to his voice, across the globe. Satisfied or irate - one is free to give his views anywhere, thanks to the internet. It is true that online/digital marketing is getting essential to run any business whether it is small scale or a big corporation. However, many businesses realize the hard way that social media is a double-edged sword. One negative customer tweet gets shared in fraction of seconds. One bad review on the website can be taken more seriously than hundred other good reviews. If online marketing is the need of the hour, Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a necessity to survive.

Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit rightly says, “A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is.” Here is a quick fact check to support this statement: According to asurvey by Dimensional Research, 86% of its respondents feel that buying decisions are majorly influenced by negative reviews and bad reviews effect the company’s ability to attract newer customers. Another survey by Nielsen reports that 68% of respondents trust consumer opinions that are posted online.

Managing the company’s reputation online is equally relevant as any other vertical in the organization, rather it is as important as making sales. In my view, you need to pay attention to your brand on the internet for three C’s - to face Competition, maintain Consistency in how you are represented online, and being able to manage a situation of Crisis. These are broadly the three reasons why companies must know about ‘what’ and ‘where’ are they being talked about on the internet. There are more than 150 platforms where your product/service can be discussed by a consumer.

Sample this situation: A consumer posts a bad review of a hotel just when the hotel in question has lost its market share to competitor, or at a time when there has been a negative news in the media regarding the hotel. In this highly competitive scenario of the hospitality sector, intelligent online reputation not only helps with the necessary data that can help you manage crisis but also equips you to face competition in general. In a situation of crisis, knowing who is talking what online helps a lot. You can track the problem to its root cause and contact the consumer. The key is to be available to solve the problem.

According to Forrester research ‘’Customer experience leaders outperform the laggards, the stock of customer experience leaders grew by 22% and the experience of laggards dropped by 46%’’

Regarding competition, you could get answers to all these questions through ORM : Why did you lose the market share to someone else? What facility is better in your competitors than yours? Which segment of customers are not giving good reviews? Where should be your marketing efforts in the next quarter?

A lot of businesses use Net Promoter Score(NPS) to determine their customer experience.NPS is a customer loyalty metric used to determine the likelihood that a customer will return to usea service again. Introduced by Fred Reicheld in 2003, NPS is used by companies like Qantas, Apple, e-bay, Expedia, General electrics, Citi Group, PayPaland almost 2/3rdof the fortune 1000 companies. NPS is a good metrics to track customer satisfaction when used in surveys,

Does just having an NPS data help you? The answer is No. One needs to deeply analyze the scores in combination with the Sentiment Analysis of each and every consumer. Each comment/review/feedback needs to be seen very objectively as well as subjectively rather than just the overall integrated NPS score. There is a sentiment in which each consumer responds to a service or a product and it is essential to understand that before coming to any conclusion.

When a business has decided to have an online presence which is unavoidable in today’s time and age, one cannot ignore the consumer voice. Engaging and interacting with consumers who are not happy with your services will help you close the loop of complains. Ignoring bad reviews will only aggravate consumer disconnect and damage the brand. Answer each question by the consumer and that too promptly. Explain the reason why you were not able to cater to a particular problem and own up to it if it was a mistake. If done smartly, bad reviews can possible not damage your business.


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