It’s not exactly breaking news: people are suckers for online reviews. It’s been confirmed by research into consumer psychology, and the New York Times covered the story. 97 percent of shoppers confirmed that they trust online reviews and most of them click through to your WORST reviews first. What does this mean to your office furniture company? And how can you manage your online reputation so that it reflects just how good your company is and attracts sales?
If you’re a typical consumer, you know how it works: when everything goes well, you’re pleased but not so overjoyed that you’re going to rush off and write a positive review just for the heck of it. On the other hand, when you have a bad experience with a business or its products, you want to tell the world!
How to Deal with Negative Reviews
When it comes to negative reviews, burying your head in the sand and pretending it never happened isn’t an option. A bad review is forever! But some businesses are turning negative reviews into an opportunity, and they’re transforming some of their toughest critics into their most passionate advocates. Here’s how they do it:
- They monitor all the relevant review sites, and they respond fast!
- They don’t confront the reviewer. Instead, they look for the objective truth behind the bad review and decide what to do about it. If necessary, they move the discussion to private discussion while seeking a solution.
- They make things right, and they make it public.
No business can please all people all the time, but it can learn from its errors and show that it’s willing to face problems head-on. People respect that.
How Do You Get More Positive Reviews Without Actually Cheating?
Ask, and you will receive. 70 percent of happy customers will give you a good review if you ask them to. But how do you know if they are happy? Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys are single-question surveys that your customer uses to rate your service on a scale of one to ten.
Timing is important. Ask for a rating too soon, and your customer will raise his or her eyebrows. Ask too late, and you’ll get a low response rate. Conduct your NPS survey directly after concluding business with your client.
If you do office furniture installations, your NPS survey goes to your client once you have completed the installation. If your office furniture company just sells office furniture online, wait until you receive confirmation of delivery before asking your customer to rate you.
Once you know who your happy customers are, you can follow up. Thank them for their positive rating and ask them if they’d be willing to review your company online.
Where do Your Office Furniture Company’s Online Reviews Go?
If you’ve ever visited a company website that features reviews or have a few client reviews on your own website, you’ll know that no negative review is ever going to end up there. So do your website’s visitors.
People check and trust reviews on a wide range of review sites, but only a few of these are important. Monitor and build your online reputation on the three platforms people are most likely to use when looking for reviews of your office furniture business:
- Amazon (if you sell through that channel)
Online searches will turn up Facebook as well as Google reviews, so if you were to pick two platforms on which to focus, these two will deliver the best reputation-building results in return for your efforts.
Google My Business also helps with local search engine optimization, so you get the added benefit of greater search engine visibility. However, it is location-based, so if you have multiple branches, be sure to register each store’s address with Google Business.
What Should Your Reviews’ Average Rating Be? How Many Do You Need?
You might think it would be great to have nothing but wall-to-wall five-star ratings. But the research we referenced earlier in this article found that people become suspicious if every single review is unreservedly positive.
According to the psychologists who made up the research team, most people felt comfortable with a 4.4 to 4.7-star rating. Of course, your ratings shouldn’t be too low either. If you were shopping around for office furniture or any other product, would you choose a supplier with a 2.5-star rating over one with a 4.5-star rating? Of course, you wouldn’t!
The numbers game is also an interesting one. People want reviews: lots of reviews. When researchers confronted consumers with a choice between two similar, poorly rated products, they chose the one with the most reviews – even though those reviews were bad. It seems that they assumed that more reviews meant more buyers and a more popular product.
While we wouldn’t recommend that you stack up as many one-star reviews as you possibly can, you do want plenty of good reviews, and they need to be fairly recent too. Reputation management is an ongoing effort. A good online reputation is not something you can just get and then forget.
Reputation Management for Office Furniture Companies isn’t Just for E-Commerce
At this point, you may be wondering if all of this is relevant to your business when most of the action happens offline. It matters! Who uses a phone book these days? Nobody? So, what do you do when you want to contact a company? You Google it!
Try it now with any business with which you are familiar. What do you see? There’s an image, all the contact and location details you need and…. Yes! The star rating is also there.
Most businesses who recognize the importance of online reputation management check for reviews every single day. If that sounds like a daunting prospect, outsource!
Why spend time you could have spent doing something you’re good at when there are experts to help you with online reputation management? Office furniture companies are a specialty of ours – so get in touch to hear what we can do to help you build the great reputation your business deserves!