With the holidays right around the corner, you should be gearing up for customer traffic overload. Often, business owners view this period as naturally prosperous. However, what most business owners don’t realize is how much this can set the tone for your sales in the following quarter and into the next year.
In order to truly capitalize on the holiday season, you have to play a strong offense and defense when it comes to your online ratings and reviews.
Be Prepared for LOTS of Reviews
Studies show that people spend more money each subsequent holiday season, meaning that more services and products are being bought now than ever before. Shoppers are also writing more ratings and reviews than ever before. Combine these growing numbers with surging emotions (both positive and negative) that come with the holiday season, and you have a perfect storm for ratings and reviews.
They’re going to come fast and furious, especially right after Christmas. And if you work to turn this into an opportunity, you can put yourself ahead of the competition.
What to Do When Reviews Start Coming
Product launches are risky, and launching during the holiday season can be a recipe for disaster if you rush it. You may very well be slammed with negative reviews.
If this happens, and you feel your blood boiling or a need to contradict this naysayer, don’t. Taking a review personally or coming at it from a place of anger or frustration will yield you nothing. It might even hurt your reputation. The first step is to take a deep breath.
Then respond from an objective and understanding place. Based on my research in Manipurated, by responding to a complaint, you double your odds that a complainer becomes an advocate for your business. (highlight to tweet) You need to keep your fury in check, take the time to address the issue, and respond smartly.
Don’t forget to respond to good reviews, too. These customers can be your best clients, and a positive “Thank you” will not only make them happy, it could result in an additional sale.
Key Tips for Consistency
Let’s quickly review. Staying on top of your ratings and reviews during the holiday season is a win-win proposition. When you get good reviews, you make reviewers happier. And when you get bad reviews, you can either turn complainers into advocates, or you can show interested prospects that you care about your brand and your service.
Now that you understand the importance of responding to complaints, here’s how you can scale it.
1. Do it yourself
Run Google Analytics and Incognito searches. See which rating-and-review sites people are using to discuss your brand. Or…
2. Pay for an app
Streamline the process using an app to manage rating-and-review sites, such as ReviewTrackers, Reputation Ranger, and Yext. They typically include some form of easy-to-use dashboard. Think of an RSS feed, but for rating-and-review sites instead.
These types of services are usually pay-by-the-month. The advantage is that they do nearly all of the heavy lifting for you.
Setting the Tone for the Next Quarter
So, you’ve managed the surplus of holiday season reviews and with a cool app and a clear head. If you’re not proud of yourself, you should be. That was a lot of hard work!
But it’s not time to relax yet.
Any negative reviews you received were most likely because a user was dissatisfied with your service. Whatever the case, cross-reference their complaints with those of other complainers. If you start to see a consensus among your reviewers, perhaps it’s time to change something about your business.
Remember—there’s always next holiday season.
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