Common-sense suggests that Facebook Reviews and star-ratings have an impact on both brands and their sales. Reviews are like testimonials (and Zimbabweans know all about testimonials :)) that tell your story to the public. Positive reviews are like endorsements in which the reviewer becomes your brand ambassador on Facebook.
Negative reviews on the other hand will have to be managed and handled professionally, but we will get into that later on.
What some businesses fail to understand is that there is an opportunity to use reviews as part of their social media and general strategy. They wait for potential customers to get to their site in order to stumble on a positive review with an amazing write-up that speaks of their brand.
In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook page reviews, and how to deal with bad reviews.
Facebook Star Ratings and Reviews
Facebook introduced the Star Rating system to encourage users/customers to review local businesses. With this system, customers can rate your business on a scale from 1 to 5 stars, and your average score will be displayed on your page.
Please note however, that Facebook allows your customers to choose the privacy on their review. (Have this in brackets or exclude as you say the same thing albeit in more detail below).
A customer can set their review to be shown to “everyone”, “friends”, “friends of friends” etc.
Your score is an average of PUBLIC reviews (privacy: “everyone”).
So you may find that there is a difference between your total rating and your public rating if you have customers who leave reviews not open to the public.
What Are Some of the Advantages of Facebook Reviews?
Here are three benefits of having reviews on your Facebook page:
Your Facebook page will prominently display your star rating along with your reviews. A high star rating is good for social proof and increasing your sales.
Your customers’ voices are a powerful marketing tool as your customers tell you in their words how your product solved a problem they had.
Constructive criticism helps, and no one is better to tell you how they feel about what you offer than your customers.
What Are the Potential Disadvantages of Facebook Reviews?
There are a few potential downsides to Facebook Reviews on your business page:
Receiving negative reviews can hurt your business depending on the contents of the review.
There is a potential for rating abuse. Facebook users don’t need to prove they’ve used your products or services before leaving a rating.
But remember that If you get a lot of negative reviews, you can always turn them off in your page’s settings.
How to Handle and Manage Bad Reviews on Facebook
Before getting into this one, an interesting thing to note is that 68% of customers said that they trust a page’s reviews more when they see both good and bad feedback. If you only have five-star positive reviews on your page, most customers would think they were fake or carefully screened.
I’m sure we’ve got a friend’s page that we’ve visited and seen nothing but amazing reviews, that all came mutual friends, and thought “that’s good for support, but, yeah, no”
The unfortunate thing is that Facebook doesn’t screen or verify reviews before making them stick to your page. In some cases, you can get a bad review without having done anything wrong. It may be that the customer had wrong expectations of what service, product or experience they were going to receive.
When a negative review is a genuine one (one without malicious intent), your customer is merely expressing their disappointment. Understanding and addressing the issue is one of the major things your business can do to provide better customer care and service delivery.
When you receive a bad review – ALWAYS keep these 4 DON’TS IN MIND:
Don’t take it personally
Don’t put off responding to a later date
Don’t respond in any negative way
‘Not panicking and taking it personally’ might harder for self-employed people who are running a small business from their home, as they feel their efforts from all the blood, sweat and tears are under attack.
But here is how you should handle it.:
First, assess the review. Ask yourself these questions:
What did this customer think when she left a review?
Is the review fair and accurate?
How can you use it to improve your business?
Next, you need to craft your response. A personalized response shows your customers that they are important to you. Under no circumstances should you just respond with a cold, generic response. You should offer a solution that shows a good faith effort to a better outcome.
Here are 5 helpful Steps to follow:
Stay positive: Approach all negative reviews with a calm attitude. Let the customer know you’ve heard their concerns. Even if you’re not in the wrong, you shouldn’t make the customer feel like the victim.
Flip the negative into a positive: For example, you can respond by saying, “We’re sorry you had a bad experience. We’ve been doing business for several years and most of our customers leave happy. We’re sorry we didn’t meet your expectations this time around.”
Offer a solution: Simply offering an apology to your customer won’t do – a customer will want a solution to their problem. When you’re responding to a negative review or comment, let the customer know how you’ll fix the problem.
Reiterate your company’s policies: If the situation is applicable, pull out any terms and conditions you may have in place that pertain to the situation, but in no way, leave it to the reviewer to “sort it out for themselves”.
Take the conversation offline: When you receive a negative review, you should always respond immediately on the same platform. This not only satisfies the original poster, it’s also a public place that all your potential customers will see.
However, some things can’t be addressed online. Issues involving a customer’s personal information, for example, should be discussed in person or over the phone. When addressing these types of negative reviews, provide a direct contact for your customers.
Taking the conversation offline shows that your business will go the extra mile to resolve any customer complaints or issues. However, you should only use this method for severe cases.
Remember, only a customer who leaves a review may edit or delete their review. You/Your business cannot remove it. So it is your business’ best interest to turn situations around.
The best you can do is report any reviews that violate Facebook Community Standards, including violations of the following guidelines:
Focus on the product offered by the brand.
Be based on personal experience.
Follow the Facebook Community Standards. For example, reviews that have hate speech, bullying, harassment, or threats violate Facebook’s Community Standards and aren’t acceptable in a review.
How your Business/Brand can Utilize Reviews to Generate More Sales
Once you have a number of positive reviews, not just star ratings, but actual text reviews – you can screen capture them and share them across social media and on your website.
In order to be more versatile, try and go deeper and get in touch with the reviewer for an video interview if possible, or just an audio snippet and use it as a testimonial in your videos.
Social Media Konnect is a social media management and online marketing agency based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
We offer tailored online services to individuals, SME's, non-profits, institutions and corporates that wish to establish a better online presence and reach their target audiences. Through carefully planned and executed campaigns, we give our clients leverage to connect with customers, build brand loyalty, increase engagement, increase sales, and in-turn - grow their business.
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