There are few things as joyful to a small business owner as receiving a glowing recommendation in an online review forum. Positive reviews create tremendous pride of ownership.

We all know that reviews are important, since most consumers read online reviews when deciding whether they want to do business with you.

Of course, not all your reviews may be positive. We hope they are, but a dose of reality tells us that sometimes things go wrong (and yes, sometimes the customer is wrong). Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. Instead, use them as a learning tool. The best way to learn is by fixing your mistakes. Negative reviews are more important to your business than you might realize. Not only do they point out areas that need improvement, but they also help consumers validate your business – we get a little skeptical if every review is 5 stars. Nobody’s perfect.

Reviews are important feedback for you as a business owner. Here are some simple things that reviews allow you to do:

  • Reward an employee who was specifically mentioned in a review for a positive action.
  • Provide training to employees in an area that is noted as needing improvement.
  • Say Thank You to the customer who left a review – deepening your relationship and potentially leading to referrals.
  • Contact a customer who had a bad experience and offer to fix the problem. Sometimes the follow up is much more powerful than the original experience.
  • See the value of a product or service from the customer’s standpoint. Perhaps they see a value that you hadn’t considered. Knowing this can help you make future sales.
  • Determine if service and/or quality is improving or declining. If you get lots of reviews, you’ll see a trend.
  • Use your good reviews as positive testimonials when pitching your product/service to others.

Whether your reviews are good or bad, I want you to read them in a timely manner. These reviews are giving you a valuable snapshot into your business operations. If you don’t read them, you are missing out on opportunities to help your business.

4 Oranges is committed to bringing you weekly tips in the form of To-Do List items that you can complete in an hour or less. These tips were generated from reviewing best practices from the hundreds of businesses I’ve worked with over the past 15 years. I expect you’re already doing some (but not all) of them. Improve your business by making quick fixes that have long-lasting results.

© 2019 4 Oranges