Trustpilot, or the review site you rely on, is now an essential part of your company’s reputation management. And the stats say you don’t have the luxury of disagreeing:
- 93% of customers check review sites before they buy from a company
- 91% of consumers trust review sites as much as they trust word of mouth
- Consumers read an average of 10 reviews before they trust a business
Having a review site isn’t enough, though. It has to be manned, managed, and curated. Like any other digital outlet, consumers expect that you’ll be there for them when they talk to you, and what they see (or don’t see) on your Trustpilot page is a reflection of your business.
It’s is a chance for you to demonstrate a proactive, empathetic approach to customer service, giving your customers faith in your business before they even talk to you.
That includes knowing what to do when a 1-star review comes down the pipe. And no matter how good you are, the bad review will come.
In this article we’ll outline how to turn a 1-star review into a 5-star review, and how to make the most of the good reviews as well.
We wrote this article about Trustpilot, but the advice here is still relevant whether you’re using Google Reviews, Feefo, Birdeye and more.
How we turn 1-star reviews into 5-star reviews
Because we treat our Trustpilot page as a loyalty and acquisition tool, we have an internal process for dealing with all reviews that come in, including bad ones. Actually, especially the bad ones.
We start by making sure the user is in the right place.
Is the review legit?
The first thing we do with a bad review is assess whether the complaint is legitimate. This sounds simple, but it’s important – is the reviewer actually talking about your business?
For instance, you might manufacture tyres. And you may get a Trustpilot review talking about the quality of service they received in an independent fitter selling your tyres.
While their complaint is legitimate, the complaint’s place on your page isn’t. On Trustpilot, you may apply to have the negative review removed on the grounds that it’s not about your company. It might seem harsh, but we’re talking about your company’s reputation.
If it’s a legitimate review, you can move to the next step of the plan.
Dealing with a legitimate bad review
First, check if the user has left their name, or their business’ name.
If they have, connect the name to information in your database, or customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce. If you don’t have a CRM system in place, you can go to your sales or account management team and ask about the customer.
Find more information on the complaint, bug, or delivery issue the customer is experiencing. Armed with this information, you can make an attempt to resolve the issue.
While you’re doing this, be sure to leave a sympathetic reply offering the unhappy customer a chance to get in touch and resolve the issue. Whether they initiate contact in reply, or you get in touch later, it’s important to be seen to engage with bad reviews. We’ll explain more about that later.
You know better than we do on how to talk to individual clients, but in our experience a negative review is often an act of frustration. And it often comes from a sense of not being heard. Opening dialogue is the first step to alleviating that frustration and finding a happy outcome.
With your internal team, and your client, you can find out what the issue is and implement a solution.
Approach the reviewer
Once the issue is resolved, and the customer is happy again, you can talk about their review. Ask the client if they’re otherwise happy with your service, and if they are, ask if they would consider changing (or removing) their negative review.
Precisely when you do this depends on the scale of the problem resolved, and the quality of your relationship with the client – you and your team will know best on this front.
But if our experience tells us anything, a happy client will often be amenable to changing their review. Especially when asked directly – they’re no longer talking to the faceless review site, they’re talking to a human being who has gone out of their way to resolve a problem for them.
When you don’t have the details
Your reviewer might have taken pains to stay anonymous, or you might not be able to match them up to a contact in your CRM system. It happens from time to time.
You should still leave a reply and invite the customer to talk about the problem they’re having. With a bit of luck, they will get in touch and you can resolve the problem with the same process we outlined earlier.
But even if they choose not to get in touch, leaving a reply is better than letting it fester unchallenged. As we pointed out earlier, it’s there for benefit of the next customer that comes along to the page too.
Being engaged and energetic about your review page shows readers that your customer service is proactive and interested. Combined with a high review score, it helps you build confidence in existing and prospective customers that you’re a quality provider.
Tips on leaving a good reply to a bad review:
- Be courteous. Not quite formal, but polite.
- Be human, using their name if it’s supplied, and using straightforward language.
- Express that you’re sorry the customer is having a problem, but don’t apologise or admit blame in your reply.
- Offer to help, and leave them with a direct way to get in touch.
- Sign off with your own name and title, not the company’s name.
What to do when someone leaves a good review
It’s not all rainy days!
You’re good at what you do, your customers know that, and they’ll express that in reviews. There’s no shame in shamelessly making the most of the good news when you get it.
Here’s how to get the most out of a 5-star review.
Reply to the review
Just as you would for a negative review, get back in touch to thank the user for taking the time to leave positive comments. For all the reasons we’ve already discussed, this is important.
Keep track of them
It pays to start keeping a document of your positive reviews as soon as possible. When you want to draw on them later, it’s much easier to search through an Excel sheet than use Trustpilot’s user interface.
Getting into the habit of logging them pays off down the line when you need information in a hurry. Especially when you want to find one quickly by client, sector, time, or content.
Use them externally
As a review left on a website is in the public domain, you’re free to use a good one to promote your business. That said, we would recommend asking clients for their permission if you want to alter the review.
That would include using it as part of a brochure, adding them to a testimonials section of your website, or using them for your marketing material. And you will want to use them.
A good review from a major client makes for excellent social media content, something to drop into your newsletter to clients, and something you can include on promotional material when prospecting new customers.
Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn when your clients are raving about your company.
Share them internally
If a customer names a specific employee in the review, be sure to pass the review on to that person in recognition of their work.
Or, if the review highlights a particular product or service, let your internal teams know how the end-users appreciate their work.
While doing this, it’s worth CC’ing leadership figures in, so that managers can chip-in with their own recognition, and to make these success stories as visible as possible.
Over to you
Regardless of the review site you use, these simple steps help you turn a Trustpilot page into a legitimate part of your loyalty and acquisition strategy.
If you want to talk about anything else your company can do to bring more customers in, and keep the ones you have for longer, just get in touch!