Isn’t the internet great? More information at our fingertips—anywhere and anytime we need it—than any other time in history. But if that information is in the form of negative reviews for your B2B business, you probably feel very differently. In fact, you might even hate the information superhighway and want off.
Fear not, we’re here with some helpful tips to turn those Debbie Downers and Negative Nancy’s back into cherished customers, and show you how you can limit the damage to your sales and online reputation once and for all.
How Negative Reviews Impact SEO and Customer Sentiment
Online reviews are the new word of mouth and having good ones is vital to your B2B brand’s bottom line. With so many options vying for your customers attention, you want to make sure that your reviews are as strong as possible.
In addition to having an immediate effect on customers decision making, reviews are also a factor in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Good reviews have a direct benefit to your search rankings on Google and Facebook. The better (and more numerous) your B2B brand’s online reviews are, the higher you show up when customers are looking for the product you sell and service you offer. Volume equals popularity for search engines, and sentiment comes in as a subset of their algorithms.
Reviews really matter, so don’t give up on them.
Good, Honest Reviews Will Wash Out The Negatives
It’s true you can’t control what people write about you online. You will get negative reviews no matter how hard you try, but that’s okay. Customers don’t expect to see positive reviews only. In fact, only gushing reviews comes off as fishy, but most folks are reasonable and know you can’t please everyone.
Shoot for a review mix that gives you primarily good, honest reviews while showing that you tried to address the negative ones in the kindest way possible, and you’ll be on your way to navigating online sentiment for the better.
As you grow your collection of positive reviews, they’ll outweigh and push down the negative ones. Positive reviews attract new customers.
Start With The People Already Doing Business With Your B2B Brand
Good reviews will lure new customers in, but first, you have a golden opportunity to gather good online reviews from the customers that have already paid your brand a visit. Good chance they already love your product, especially if they’re repeat customers.
Leverage your email lists, text lists, social media followers and others that have shown they like what you’re serving to encourage or even just ask for a review.
Timing is key here. There are several online tools that can help you facilitate this ask.
Highlight The Positive Reviews On Your Social Media Channels
Showcase the best reviews you get in social posts. Dress that review up with some graphics and show the world what Ben From Missouri thinks about his most recent experience with your B2B brand. It shows your followers and potential customers that you care about the customer experience. It also gives them a mini 15-minutes-of-fame thrill that they were featured on your channel. They’ll tell their colleagues, and maybe even bring them next time they visit.
Respond to Reviews, Positive And Negative
Responding to positive reviews is easy, but also easy to forget. Thanking a customer for taking the time to share some kind words in a positive review can turn them from visitors into regulars that admire and love your B2B brand even more.
The negative reviews are of course more difficult, but even more important to respond to, and this part isn’t easy. Human nature is to get defensive about whatever complaint the reviewer has, and of course, some people can’t be pleased. But give yourself a second to work through the defensiveness and respond by thanking them for the feedback, and if possible, offer to make their grievance right.
Addressing negative reviews does two things. First, it gives you a chance to turn around someone’s negative experience and get them back into your B2B dealership. Second, it shows everyone else reading your reviews that you actually care when a customer’s experience isn’t up to your standards.
And what if they can’t be pleased? Kill ‘em with kindness. People are reasonable and will see you tried.
Listen To Review Feedback
It’s easy to look at reviews as some sort of report card for your B2B brand, and they kind of are. But you can also get some valuable feedback and information from them to improve your brand’s experience.
Does a certain service person keep showing up in positive reviews? Reward them, they’re helping grow your business in this valuable area.
Reviews aren’t all bad. There are actually some great opportunities to increase your bottom line and grow your business if you can nurture them in a positive way.
The key is always to start with what you do best—offer incredible product and amazing customer service. From there it’s just a matter of nudging your best customers towards taking some action online.