Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

5 Essential Strategies to turn negative Customer reviews into quick brand boosters !

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If only negative emotions that cast consumers away could be curbed beforehand

…is every marketer’s dream.

Emotions are the first contributor that impact decision-making; so are interpersonal needs that brands fulfil are the second to contribute to intimacy.

Disgruntled customers are everywhere, for each brand. And where there are dissatisfied customers, the specter of negative reviews online is the most expected. It’s NO surprise to see how the strong repercussions generated from negative feedback affects the attention of the new prospects. Thanks to the social media and open online forums which educate as well as converts the brand followers into brand critics. Turning those prospects into brand lovers then becomes an unsurmountable challenge. Time flies faster than you can imagine and the longer you opt to allow such negativity fester, the more damage and weak goes your brand.

It is rationality that governs the intelligence of the decision-maker, but it is brand’s hyper intelligence that can create positive associations evoking favorable attitude and feelings towards them. Well negative reviews are often the glimpses of improvement areas where you know what went wrong. But at the same time, brands too have the power to turn those unhappy customers into raving fans. Well, it all depends on the way brands react to it. Where ignoring the complainants is not a wise choice; drilling deep into the strategy of understanding the root cause is the way of gaining insight. Rather than finding a solution, ingress in why customers are complaining, where most complaints are coming from, and what do they expect.

Customer service is a valuable resource for brands that can make it easier for brands to turn unhappy customers into valuable business assets. After all, no brand likes to breed in the suffocation of negative review and negative feedback environment. Each voice matters in the social environment as it gives an overview of how they are socially connected to your brand. The higher the feeling of connection; the closer is the proximity and passion. Targeting emotions and consumer appraisals is the only way for brands to gain a superior insight to brand-related emotions. To turn this situation into a blessing, check out these five effective strategies to convert poor reviews.

  1. Understanding complainants

Complainants are of two types- Onstage and offstage. The former denotes the ones who express their woes privately over phones, email or letters, while the latter opt for announcing their grievances publicly through forums, comments, tweets and other discussion threads. These posts are mostly bold and outlandish that seeks for an immediate response from brands. It is important for brands to respond fairly to satisfied as well as disgruntled customers. Answering complaints in a subtle way can significantly boost customer advocacy while ignoring them can decrease advocacy.

  1. Focusing efforts on repairing areas

It is highly important to pinpoint the areas of damage and repair them before it is too late. Let your brand follow-up and remedy the situation by effectively identifying the areas which needs to be improved. A timely action demonstrated can not only make the customer happy but can also fetch multiple brand advocates and loyal fans. Acknowledging a grievance really helps brands to resolve issues faster and better without leaving any sign of grief within the customers’ mind. At the same time, this extraordinary effort also churns out more investment opportunities in the long run.

  1. Participating in brand conversations

It is not enough to simply track and reply to queries of brand followers and customers, an active participation can also make a huge difference, even if you don’t sell online. This is where social listening applies to. Brands need to know closely what people are thinking and talking about them via interactions and gestures from prospects, clients, followers and friends. Set alerts that sends signals of reactions, sorting out the media noise to effectively find your brand’s strength. Learning about passion, sentiments and customer influence can significantly nail down any negative impressions about the brand to be acted upon.

  1. Research your way out before you reply

As the saying goes “look before you leap”, the same applies for social media just before you post your replies for specific complaints. Most brands are unprepared for negative comments that result in deleting comments and negative statements in the attempt to put down negative brand voices. This is absolutely a dead wrong thing to do. It is important to first double-check if customers have inaccurate or wrong assumptions about you. Research customer profiles thoroughly. This will help you to understand the reason behind why they are upset or turned into critics. This will not only help in handling complaints but also empower you to fix customer relationship gaps eventually. Alternatively, do not shy away to apologize or debate even if it is your mistake or not. Often, the right way and the right tone can save a big disaster, right?

  1. Invite further feedback to stay in touch

An excellent way of not to lose your angry or upset customer is a Thank You message or feedback note. This can easily build trust and develop confidence within the minds of the customers. A thank you message to the customer that reflects your courtesy in acknowledging a pinpointed flaw and getting a chance of improvement can work wonders. This will generate positive reaction and propel the customers to post positive feedback for your brand.

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