Maria Arnedo
By: marnedo
Read in 9 minutes

How to Take Advantage of Customer Criticism to Increase Sales

Sometimes honesty is the best policy to follow, even if in the distance it seems to be the most painful thing to do. Especially, in business, honesty is a determining factor when those who support it are its life force: the consumers. A single negative review can affect its whole course, while a positive one can even revive it. Believe it or not, your business depends very much on constructive criticism to keep it going, because it will be the pure, and sometimes crude opinion of your clients that will impose the pattern required to maintain the steady course of your business. However, blindly depending on them is also a mistake; even to receive criticism you require of technique. Here are a few recommendations to make the most of your customer’s criticisms and enrich your business with them.

Promote yourself through Social Network

Having a social network account has become a must for today’s entrepreneurs, but only a few of them have been able to exploit the potential of reviews through social media.

When you open your page in a social network, select the best comments about your company and emphasize its virtues. It is a fact that buyers prefer to deposit their trust among themselves rather than to those who will obviously talk wonders about their product, so take advantage of their gratitude and establish a bond of trust in those who will surely become your most frequent customers.

Of course, do not make the serious mistake of wanting to win easy stars by means of acquaintances and much less by the detested sockpuppets: have faith in the good nature of buyers and don’t desperately seek easy glory.

Remember: people know how to thank a good service.

Be Accessible

Nobody likes to talk to the wall. People feel appreciated when they are taken into account, and that raises the credibility and reputation of your company.

Make every effort you can to answer to your customers’ comments and questions on time. Believe me: facilitating contact with your company-even motivating it- results appealing to many people who still feel insecure. A large majority of the people have stated that they feel frustrated when they are not given the required information, and that they are capable of changing from one company to another because of the treatment they are given, so don’t  put barriers between you and the people. Fast and direct communication is an excellent tool to hook customers and even recover those who have become frustrated. Get there. Make it known to people that you are now part of their life.

Nobody is perfect. Appreciate the negative comments too.

As I said, a single negative comment can affect the whole course of a business. But the damage will be truly irreversible if you don’t know how to take advantage of your mistakes.

Just like it is necessary to emphasize the virtues of your service, it is equally necessary not to ignore – let alone hide! – the negative experiences that your company may cause in some individuals. You will not only learn how to fix your imperfections: you will also help the credibility of your positive reviews!

When I say that there is no such thing as perfection, I don’t say it just as a popular aphorism: it is a fact. There’s credible reasons to suspect the excesses of five stars, so don’t even try to pose as innocent. Be sincere. Don’t hide your flaws and show your customers that you know how to handle and fix them. But of course, customers usually only base themselves in 3 negative reviews to get away from a service, so don’t get comfortable: do everything possible to establish an immediate contact with customers and solve any problems that come up. Remember: one of the reasons behind poor ratings will always be the lousy service provided.

Certainly, your success can earn you a few enemies who will want to burn your company through fake accounts and harsh criticism; to avoid that, always check the identity of those who want to provide a criticism, either by asking them for their mail or their social networks, and be very careful with criticisms that will give you visibility in your social networks. Don’t worry:  with time and experience you will recognize which users are reliable and which are not.

Do not underestimate the Participation of Your Consumers

While ratings can be used to measure the quality of the products, testimonies humanize them and will place them in a place within the world. In other words, they are the ones who ultimately convince the buyers about whether to use your service or not.

Always put the best stories at the top of your business to exemplify how your company or product is consolidated in daily life. Motivate the users to share their anecdotes, photos and other personal links that you offer, and you’ll see how that will persuade even the most indecisive. Most of the time people often feel insecure about what can understandably become a waste of money, and only through testimonies will you be able to give them an idea of what they will experience if given the opportunity.

Learn how to reward this loyalty through sporadic promotions, discounts and other incentives that will motivate them to continue using your brand. In the same way, you can ask them for feedback after a purchase. Motivate the interest and creativity of consumers through subscriptions, newsletters, and so on.

Align yourself with search engines

Have you noticed that Google presents stars and ratings of certain business pages or any other service in the results it throws? Believe it or not, criticism is also essential to attract more stakeholders to your business.

There are several applications to generate reviews and opinions, but the most popular so far has been Yotpo. Thanks to its simplicity, it is possible to place the reviews that you want to highlight in search engines through SEO tools. In theory, they transform customer criticism in part of the content of your website and they are considered keywords that are deployed in the most famous search engines, such as Google and Yahoo.

Yotpo, pay-per-click advertising and other engines increase traffic to websites; thanks to them, you can transform your own customers into unofficial spokespersons. You’ll see how simple words can attract eyes to your shop, even bad reviews will become part of your advertising (come on, if someone qualifies your business as “garbage”, anyone who enters the word on Google will invariably get to you!). It really doesn’t require much investment, so when it comes to the price don’t worry yourself: most of them are very basic engines and accessible to the general public. Of course, once you start generating more traffic, you will have to pay a determined price in some sites, but most likely you will be able to guarantee that luxury by the time that day arrives.

Now that you know the basics of criticism, it’s up you to implement what you have learned in your business. Do not be afraid and remember: customers are grateful by nature.

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