Be Balanced in Replies to Online Reviews
With tools like Google Reviews and Yelp there is no shortage of communication channels online for people to provide reviews on your product or service. Many trainers, consultants, and professional coaches tend to ignore these comments and review. It’s just not something they monitor as part of their online presence. While that isn’t necessarily damaging, it does ignore an avenue of interacting with your target market and clients. But just replying to reviews doesn’t make it a positive avenue. If you decide to engage in these reviews and comments, what you respond to is often as important as how you respond.
I was recently looking up a PC repair company who was active with Google Reviews. They had a four and a half star out of five rating and every single positive review contained a response from the company with exactly how they had achieved the results that received a glowing review. It was reassured until I noticed that not one of the negative reviews had received a response.
Even a simple, “Sorry that you were not satisfied. We try to meet all of our customers’ needs and regret not meeting your expectations,” would have made me feel like everyone got an equal amount of attention. I was left with the sense that if I didn’t like what they offered, I could get lost.
The reverse scenario can also be disconcerting. A company that only responds to negative reviews often appears to be defensive and making excuses for shortcomings. Not the impression most firms want to give.
I ended up speaking with the owner of the PC repair company and discovered that impression was false. He was competent and diligent about helping me with a hardware problem I was experiencing. Even when I disagreed with some of his solutions, he was accommodating and worked at providing a positive outcome.
In short, he didn’t ignore problems or my particular requests. Obviously this is not a make or break element to your online marketing, I still hired this company despite my misgivings. It does, however, serve as a warning on how your responses can subtly communicate negative impressions.
By all means address comments and reviews online but make sure not to only comment on negative or positive ones. Cordial and honest responses often provide the balanced response that most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches actually provide.