Micro Apartments Are on the Rise

4 Reasons Why Micro Apartments Are on the Rise

If you’ve been paying attention to the housing market, chances are good that you are familiar with the increasing popularity of tiny living. What began as a movement for people who wanted to forego the traditional single-family house and mortgage that goes with it has taken off and crossed over into the urban rental market. Micro apartments, which may be anywhere between 200 and 600 square feet, are to city living what tiny houses are in rural or suburban settings. They are especially a big hit with young professionals who prioritize efficiency over square footage. Let’s look at four reasons why the micro-apartment trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

1. Location, Location, Location

Living in a city is exciting for many young professionals. So much so that traditional apartment leases have skyrocketed in price and may not be feasible for people just starting. Micro apartments can be found in most major cities not only in the United States but also around the world. This offers a more affordable option for city dwellers who could not otherwise afford to live near the city center. These smaller-than-studio spaces may have high ceilings or oversized windows to give the illusion of more room. They may have shared amenities such as terraces or lounges where residents can congregate. These mini-units are typically convenient to public transportation as well, making them even more convenient for people in a big city.

2. Less Is More

Younger generations have grown up with technology and social media. Their preferences and lifestyles reflect this change in culture. Some of these people are saddled with high student loans and realize that adding to that debt is not going to help them achieve their goals or pursue their passions. Increasingly, city dwellers may be embracing this tiny trend over other multi-family housing, such as full-size apartments or condos, because they do not need as much room for storage or personal belongings taking up what storage they do have. Paring down their expenses allows them to spend their money on what they want or even save for the future, giving them financial independence at an earlier age.

3. Flexibility and Freedom

Another aspect of modern life is that people may not stay in the same job or city for as long as they once did. Employees may move to follow a promotion or change careers and cities more frequently than their parents or grandparents did. Micro apartments make it easier for people to pick up and go because they have less to pack and move. They may have more freedom with leasing as well, especially because tiny living is in high demand; it may be easier to get out of a lease or afford to leave early with lower housing costs.

4. Increased Efficiency

One of the beloved features of the tiny lifestyle is the clever use of storage that comes with making the most of what space you have. Some units may even come with modular furnishings that can even be multi-purpose, such as a lofted or Murphy-style bed to free up living space when not sleeping. Without a lot of room, you can’t fill it up with as much clutter. Since plenty of younger professionals eat their meals out or socialize in public, these apartments don’t dedicate as much room to entertaining or full-sized kitchens. You have what you need because, frankly, you don’t have space for anything extra.

Are you thinking about expanding into this new and burgeoning world of the micro-apartment? Opiniion has got your back. We have the tools you need to get attention and manage your reviews to make your multi-family property a tiny living paradise. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help your business grow.

Why Google Reviews Are Essential

Like virtually all other businesses today, owners of multifamily apartment complexes know that online reviews matter a great deal. In particular, Google reviews play a major role in the decision-making process for prospective tenants. Understanding how consumers are influenced by reviews can help you figure out the right approach to asking for feedback, responding to negativity and increasing the number of positive ratings.

Visibility

People using Google to search for a property address or a business name will see snippets from the top few Google reviews. They appear in a box to the right of the search results on the page. This box also shows the average star rating, the total number of reviews and a link leading to the rest of the reviews. Thus, before a prospective client even gets to the point of searching reviews, he or she is presented with an easy way to view existing feedback. This increases the likelihood that Google reviews will be read before any reviews on other sites.

Influence

Today, doing one’s research about a company includes perusing online reviews. For a consumer who has not made a decision, the content of online reviews is likely to determine his or her actions.

Trust

Consumers see reviews as feedback from other people similar to themselves. They tend to trust this type of information far more than the material provided by the company itself. Online reviews are not far behind a personal recommendation from a trusted friend in terms of persuading consumers to patronize a particular business. For this reason, genuine positive reviews are among the top forces that drive increases in revenue.

Relevance

Google reviews have the most influence when they are recent and authentic. Consumers typically consider that older reviews may contain information that may no longer be correct. Likewise, a fake review will not only be discounted but will actually damage the company’s credibility.

Conversion

Reviews have a strong effect on conversion rates. While people read through reviews as part of their research, most do not devote extensive time to it. Thus, consumers typically read through top results before making a decision.

Action

Given that online reviews, especially on Google, can strongly affect your business, it is important to know what you can do to increase the number of effective positive reviews. The reviews most likely to influence consumers in your favor are recent, authentic and specific about what made their experience with you a positive one.

Some companies resort to paying for fake reviews. This strategy, however, is short-sighted and ineffective. Consumers have become increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting false enthusiasm. No review at all is better than a fake. Planting reviews tell consumers you are trying to deceive them; the resulting lack of trust decreases your revenue.

However, there are several legitimate ways to increase the number of positive reviews for your company. Of course, the best thing you can do is ensure your tenants have genuinely positive experiences. That is not enough on its own; a happy customer will not always leave a review sharing his or her experience.

Reminding customers and providing incentives such as a small discount can help you get more feedback. Additionally, making it easy to leave reviews and rate various aspects of the service is another way to increase reviews. For example, don’t make people write essays. Instead, ask specific questions while also leaving room for additional comments.

In addition to encouraging positive reviews, it is important to properly handle negative ones. No matter how impeccable your service, some negativity is inevitable. People know this, so a few bad reviews will not necessarily cause any damage, especially if you respond constructively. Deleting reviews you don’t like decreases trust. Likewise, avoid the temptation to be harsh or rude, no matter the tone or content of the review.

Conclusion

Because reviews are so important for your business, it is vital to set up ways to solicit feedback and respond to concerns. You should also be aware of the reviews you receive so you can take appropriate action.

Opiniion gives you the tools you need to harness the power of Google reviews. Make it easy for customers to leave feedback, monitor reviews, analyze data and more. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 855-330-9980 to get in touch with one of our professionals and find out more about how Opiniion can boost your company’s online presence.

Do You Love Your Pet?

As a rental property owner, you’re likely constantly looking for ways to boost your overall occupancy rate. If you don’t already, you’ve probably considered allowing pets on your multi-family property. With help from us here at Opiniion Inc., you can learn more about how allowing four-legged residents in your units can boost your overall occupancy rate.

Your Multi-Family Property Will Appeal to More Tenants

Having a pet is more common than ever. That means a great deal of the potential residents considering your property likely have a pet they want to bring with them. If you don’t currently allow pets, you could be missing out on some great tenants, ones who have well-behaved animals and who may stay with you for years to come. You may be shocked at how quickly your occupancy rate increases once you start to accept applicants who have a pet or two.

Another way to attract more tenants is to offer special amenities just for pets. For instance, building a pet park on your property grounds makes it easier for your tenants to exercise and bond with their furry friends. You may also want to think about offering a pet spa, so tenants can easily take care of their animals’ grooming needs. Additionally, consider hosting special parties for residents and their dogs or giving free pet CPR classes. These can serve as great bonding and learning experiences for your tenants, which could be just the thing to make them want to stay on your property longer.

Your Tenant Turnover Rate May Drop

One key aspect of property management is working to reduce the number of tenants moving out of your units. Some of your current tenants may feel ready to own a pet. If you don’t currently allow them, your loyal tenants could start to look for a new place to stay where they are allowed to have an animal friend.

Anyone who’s ever looked at apartments knows how time-consuming it can be to find the perfect location, amenities, price, and more. Rather than fail to retain great tenants, you can let them know you now allow them to have pets, making it easier for them to decide to avoid the hassle of relocating and stay right where they are.

Increase Your Revenue

Of course, you can increase revenue when you allow your residents to have pets. Besides holding onto loyal tenants, you can start to charge a pet fee or pet rent. It’s up to you to decide if you want to implement a one-time or a monthly fee.

One of the biggest reasons to consider charging a pet deposit, fee or rent is that pets can make a mess. Sometimes, those messes are easily cleaned up by your tenants. Other times, the damage can be more extreme and expensive. You may also find that not all your tenants will exercise diligence when it comes to thoroughly cleaning out their units when they do decide to move out. By charging a pet deposit, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get the money necessary to restore a damaged unit. Do yourself a favor and research ahead of time cleaning companies that specialize in pets. That way, you immediately know whom to call when you discover a mess or damage in a vacated unit.

Do you already allow pets on your property? If so, have you noticed an increase in the number of applications from pet owners over the years? Maybe you’re on the fence about allowing pets in your units. If so, we’d love to hear what’s holding you back. Sound off in the comment section, and let’s start a conversation.

Reach Vs Impressions

Reach Versus Impressions

A solid social media strategy is essential for growing many types of businesses. To develop your campaign you should identify your target demographic, the platforms it is likely to use and the brand voice you want to promote.

However, social media marketing is not “one and done.” You need a way to monitor and analyze how well your campaign is doing. It is important to know which aspects of your social media approach are proving effective and which could benefit from change. Reach and impressions are two key metrics that help you analyze the impact of your social promotion efforts.

The Difference Between Reach and Impressions

Briefly, reach measures how many unique users viewed your content. Impressions show how many times your content showed up for various users, whether or not they took any action such as clicking to see it. For example, you may put up a promotional post; a portion of your followers will view it. This is your reach for that post. Some of these people may then share it so it shows up on their followers’ feed. This does not mean the followers even see this content — it just means it shows up on the screen. This is the impression count.

While Facebook and Instagram use these definitions, other popular platforms may present slightly different metrics. For instance, Twitter only gives you an impression count but defines impressions as a user seeing your content; however, content you post in responses results in fewer impressions. Other sites may provide you with metrics such as clicks, shares, follows and engagement.

A platform such as Facebook may also count these metrics differently for different types of content. As a business user, you may have a page for your company and also pay for ads that show up on people’s feeds.

Why Reach and Impressions Matter

Tracking reach and impressions together gives you a good idea of how specific types of posts perform versus others. If you have substantial reach but relatively few impressions, this can mean your target audience is not sharing your content. Figuring out why that is so can be key to making your online presence an effective marketing tool. On the other hand, if you have low reach but a high impression count, you may be putting out a high volume of ads no one is looking at.

Reach and impressions should also be viewed in conjunction with other metrics. For example, conversion is the ultimate goal of social media marketing. Your purpose in producing content is to get people to make an appointment, call your office or give you their contact information. If lots of people are viewing and sharing your content but your conversion rate remains low, this can be a sign you need to change something about your ads.

The two metrics of reach and impression also correlate in another way. Typically, users will see your content on their screens several times before they become sufficiently interested to click, share or otherwise engage. So you want to create enough impressions to make users aware of your brand, but not so many they will become annoyed and fed up with it. This optimal number differs depending on your type of business and the demographic you want to reach.

Effective Analytics

As you see, even key performance metrics for promotional content can vary depending on the platform you use. Further, as each platform evolves, both the definitions and the mechanics of analytics can change. For this reason, it can help to work with qualified professionals who thoroughly understand today’s analytics and are equipped to stay current even when rapid changes occur.

At Opiniion, we provide a full range of online marketing support for today’s business owners. Fill out our online contact form or call 855-330-9980 to learn more about how we can bring your business to the next level.

How To Overcome Fake Reviews

How To Overcome Fake Reviews

Online reviews are a powerful tool that helps people make decisions ranging from which hairbrush to purchase to which apartment to rent. Consumers trust others whom they see as similar to themselves to point out relevant pros and cons and to make useful recommendations. Thus, a negative review can have a serious impact on a business.

However, company owners and managers should know that not all negative reviews are legitimate. Competitors may hire people to submit fake negative reviews (often along with fake positive reviews for their own company). Part of successful reputation management is knowing how to combat these tactics effectively.

Identifying and Reporting

An important first step is to report the review in question to the platform it appears on to get it removed. However, a negative review is not necessarily a fake one; a real negative review needs a very different method of handling. The following red flags can indicate a review is likely to be false:

  • General language: A fake reviewer is more likely to write something like, “This is a terrible building.” A genuine negative review is more likely to contain specific criticism, such as “I noticed garbage in the lobby.”
  • Extreme, dramatic tone: False reviews tend to use exaggerated rhetoric and vicious language.
  • Suspicious review history: A large number of extremely positive reviews for competing businesses can be a red flag. Alternatively, you may see a large number of bad reviews (likely similar to the one you received) for many similar companies. Chances are high these reviews will be dated on the same day or close to one another.
  • Your records do not support the review: If the review alleges its author viewed an apartment or rented one, your records can show whether this actually happened during the relevant time period.

Sites such as Google typically let you flag a review if it is false or otherwise violates site guidelines. For instance, Google disallows hate speech in its reviews. If you want the process to go faster, you may also want to dispute a review. This process usually involves several additional steps but lets you specify exactly why you believe the review to be false or otherwise inappropriate. Doing this can also get your report reviewed faster.

Responding

It can take time for a website to investigate your report and remove the objectionable reviews. In the meantime, you need to make a response. Leaving the review to just sit there allows others to continue viewing it and potentially taking it seriously.

No matter how ridiculously false and vicious the review, it is important never to descend to that level in your own response. Avoid the temptation to fire back with personal remarks or mockery. Keeping your own tone professional and reasonable is a good way to show readers the review is likely baseless.

Getting more positive real reviews is another way to minimize the impact of the fake. Make it easy for your real customers to leave a quick review. Some companies have increased their review rates by offering a small promotion for leaving feedback (of course, this promotion should be content-neutral).

Managing

It is also helpful to keep an eye out for any patterns of false reviews that may continue to come up. Some sites make monitoring easier by providing alerts or reports you can analyze to identify problems.

Getting Help From Experts

Reviews are essential for supporting your company. Opiniion can help you maximize the benefits of online reviewing and counteract its negative sides such as fake reviews. Not only can you make it easy for real customers to submit feedback, but you can also monitor and analyze review activity, obtaining substantial, actionable data. Learn more about how the professionals at Opiniion can help you manage your online reputation by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 855-330-9980.

Phrases to Avoid When Responding to Reviews

You should have someone working for your multifamily management business who is in charge of overseeing the company’s online reputation. It should be this individual’s job to respond to any reviews as they come in.

It is common for businesses to leave automatic responses such as “Thank you for leaving feedback. We strive to provide a one-of-a-kind living experience for all of our tenants.” The problem is that this quickly becomes repetitive, and someone browsing the site can see how unoriginal your team is. You want to make it clear to prospective tenants that they will not just be treated as another income source if they decide to rent through you. That means avoiding some common cringe-worthy phrases whenever you leave responses to reviews.

“Thank You for Your Feedback.”

Managers say this phrase for both positive and negative reviews. It is the definition of the word “fluff.” You want to do more than simply thank someone for leaving feedback; you want to make it clear you will incorporate that feedback into your future processes. It helps the reviewer believe his or her review will lead to some useful end purpose.

For a positive review, you are better off saying something along the lines of, “We are tremendously grateful you took the time to leave such kind words about your resident experience.” For a negative review, consider saying, “We appreciate your candor, and we promise to do better going forward.”

“We Are Happy To Hear…”

You are most likely to say this following a positive review, but it fails to capitalize on the opportunity you were just presented. Responding to reviews is your company’s way of coming across as human. It makes it clear there are real people behind the computers, with genuine emotions. There are various ways to get creative, such as by saying, “Wow! You just made this office’s day.”

“We Are Sorry To Hear…”

Similarly, you need something different to say when you receive a negative review. The word “sorry” can come across as hollow to some. Prospective tenants may think you are being insincere and assuming saying “Sorry” will fix everything. You need to do more to acknowledge your mistakes as a multifamily management company. A better response would be, “My sincerest apologies we didn’t fix the refrigerator in a more timely fashion.” By directly addressing the issue, you take responsibility for the failure rather than just deliver an empty platitude.

“We Strive To Provide…”

This sentence should never come up after a review. To say you “strive” to do something means you try to do it. When you rent out a property, you either rent or you do not. There is no try. Prospective renters want to see that you actually deliver results because you are supposed to be experts in your field.

As an alternative statement for a positive review, you can say, “We are delighted to hear you have never had any major problems while renting through us.” For a negative review, try saying, “These reviews are always tough to read. For years, our team has remained dutiful in helping all our tenants, and we will do everything in our power to correct the problem.”

“Please Contact Us.”

This seems like a good go-to phrase to end a response with. The problem with it is that it is a vague blanket statement. It gives the appearance that management wants to do something. However, most of the time, it said with the expectation that the tenant is never going to attempt contact.

You need to give tenants a clear way to reach out to you. After a negative review, you can say, “I have a few ideas on how to resolve the issue you are having. If you are open to a meeting, please reach out to us at XXX-XXX-XXXX.” With this response, you give tenants a reason to initiate contact, so they are more likely to reach out and hopefully be satisfied with the resolution.

It takes more time to craft individual responses than giving out empty platitudes. However, it results in happier tenants and a more fruitful business in the long run. For management teams that need more guidance managing their online reputations, reach out to Opiniion. We can help you receive instant customer feedback through easy-to-understand analytics. We know how to help your business, so sign up today.

How Properties Can Embrace Technology

How Properties Can Embrace Technology

Managing multifamily apartments can be a complex business model. Just a decade ago, the apartment industry hadn’t really embraced technology, but that is changing. In the past few years, the industry has seen several helpful advances that improve efficiency to let your staff focus on new opportunities.

Paperless Records Offer Multiple Benefits

Reducing your reliance on paper is good for the environment. That benefit alone should convince you to use modern property management software. However, the real advantages of such software go much deeper. Digital records are much easier to find and access. Using digital contracts reduces the risk of human error. You won’t need dozens of file cabinets to store paperwork. Your files will be safe and secure when you have the right applications. Plus, there’s no worry about documents fading or getting lost.

Technology Makes for Increased Sales Opportunities

Digital technology improves your sales operations. Lead management software makes it easier to track potential customers and follow up with them in your sales funnel. Prospects want and demand quick responses, whether your office is open or not. You can utilize call centers, auto-responses and chatbots to provide information outside of business hours. Embrace technology to offer fast responses to your prospects focusing on service.

Going Digital Improves Communication With Current Residents

Instead of relying on paper media, such as flyers, to pass information to your current tenants, digital communication lets you reach people quickly and easily. Some properties have apps that connect the office to the residents, while others use email or text. The important thing is to meet your tenants where they live, on their smartphone. You can strengthen your community by providing ways for residents to connect with others and your office. Plus, you’ll save time not having to go door to door distributing flyers and announcements.

Online Portals Simplify Management

Allowing residents to pay rent online or to request maintenance through an online app improve your staff’s efficiency. Residents can pay their rent easily whenever they have the chance. Maintenance requests can be made after hours. Maintenance personnel can be immediately notified of emergencies and specific requests that come through. Automating these requests saves your staff time and effort. Maintenance technicians can easily track what has been done and what hasn’t. Reducing paperwork lets you provide better service.

Your Portfolio Can Be Increased

Property management software can boost your ability to increase your real estate portfolio. Automating tasks that take up a lot of administrative time frees you to be a better manager and focus on long-term goals instead of dealing with daily crises and fires. Everyone on your team can stay connected no matter how far away they are from your main office. It makes sense to invest in technology that lets you be proactive to manage your properties.

Updating Technology Offers a High ROI

Simplifying processes across multiple offices keep your team on the same page. It’s easier to onboard employees or shifts someone around when people go on vacation. Using digital records saves your staff time. Technology that lets you track maintenance on each property to ensure that monthly and yearly activities are completed keeps your property looking great, which attracts more prospects. The return on investment for technology is probably more than you can imagine. Tech can be your partner in your apartment complex and free up your time to really manage your property.

Technology Is Integrating Better Than Ever

Today’s vendors are building platforms that work together instead of making property managers cobble together a system from scratch. Imagine your bookkeeping software interacting with the software that lets tenants pay rent online. Instead of spending time doing data entry, your staff can use that time to provide service to current tenants and deal with more serious issues.

Modern technology focuses on analytics to help you improve your systems. Data analysis drives today’s businesses. Technology that gives you insights into providing services more effectively and efficiently is another ROI. Use the software and applications that are available to improve business and increase your profit margin. It’s time to automate systems that boost your efficiency.

Online Reviews Entice New Customers

Potential apartment dwellers are checking out your business through your online reviews. Get more positive reviews with the help of Opiniion. Contact us today for more information on how this can benefit your business.

The Key Role to Online Reputation Management

The Key Role to Online Reputation Management

With the birth of review sites such as Yelp, a company’s reputation has never been more easily influenced. It only takes a few bad reviews for prospective tenants to steer clear of your apartment building or multi-family complex. You cannot afford to ignore bad reviews. Although every business will end up with a couple of negative reviews at some point, the most important part of this is getting ahead of the feedback and developing a comprehensive reputation management plan.

Reputation management is the process of influencing the public’s opinion of your business. Although it originated as a public relations term, it has grown to overtake numerous aspects of every company due to the advancement of social media and the internet. Every company needs to take an active role in this endeavor, and here are the steps to accomplish it.

Create Guidelines for Responding to Issues

From the manager to the groundskeeper, everyone should be aware of how to treat tenants. Most importantly, this involves teaching good interpersonal skills. Everyone who works for you should know what tone and composure to maintain when around tenants. From the moment tenants sign the lease to when they decide not to renew, their experience should be first class all the way.

Use Metric Tools

After ensuring all your tenants have a good experience, you then need to monitor your building’s online presence. You can look up the total number of reviews your apartment complex has and how well you engage with people on social media. If you only have a couple of reviews from several years ago, then you should aim to get your current tenants to leave some reviews. You can send everyone a friendly email or text and ask each household to leave a review on Yelp or Facebook.

Additionally, you should receive alerts for anytime someone leaves a comment or post on your Facebook page. You should respond to this post within a reasonable amount of time. This is particularly important if someone asks a question. The first impression of your residential property will be molded by how you interact with potential tenants online.

Work To Correct Problems

When you find a negative review, you should first reach out to the person privately to see what the underlying issue is. From there, you can take steps to correct the problem. Once the tenant is satisfied with the changes, you can then ask if he or she would be willing to update the review. People may be able to see the first negative review, but they will also see that you were responsive and helped the person who complained. Far too many landlords lash out in anger when they find a negative review, and you do not want to fall into that category.

Offer a Resident Referral Program

There are many ways you can fill a vacancy when one opens up. One of the best ways is to start a resident referral program where a tenant receives an incentive for referring a person to your apartment complex. People will only refer others if they have been happy with their stay. Getting those referrals is absolutely worth the few hundred dollars you will give the current tenant. The program ends up paying for itself quickly.

Make Reputation Management Part of the Work Culture

Reputation management is more than just increasing the number of stars you have on Yelp. It is about altering people’s perception of your business. People looking for apartments have a lot of options to choose from, and you need to make it clear you offer something no one else can provide. Other apartment buildings may offer certain amenities you do not have. However, if you can make it clear you provide a customer service experience like no other, then it could be enough to tip the scales in your favor.

Reach Out for Help

Reputation management may seem daunting, but fortunately, Opiniion simplifies the process. Our software makes it easy to collect feedback from your tenants. You receive a comprehensive data set that lets you know where you need to improve. The software is simple and makes your job tremendously less difficult. You can get started with us today, and before you know it, your online reputation will gradually improve.

How Bad Reviews Help Your Business

There is an oft-repeated phrase in business: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Whether or not this is true, it is certainly true that getting a bad review from a customer can ultimately help your business. While you may not enjoy hearing negative things about your businesses or products, bad reviews can help boost your sales. Below are five ways that negative reviews can actually help you.

1. They Inform Your Customers

No product is perfect for every use, application and customer. While the thought of selling to everyone is nice, it isn’t a realistic expectation. Instead, your customers are making informed decisions about whether your products and services meet their needs. Bad reviews can help to educate your potential customers on whether they will benefit from your offerings or not.

The most valuable customers are the ones that come back and buy again. If your customers know what they are getting before they buy, they are more likely to be happy with their decisions. Happy customers are significantly more likely to buy from you again.

For example, if you sell a lawn care product that is less effective in very dry climates, a bad review indicating that it didn’t work well in a dry area will educate your customers. The result will be a larger portion of your customers buying from wetter climate, leading to more satisfied customers.

2. Bad Reviews Increase Trust

Have you ever looked at a product and only seen perfect, glowing reviews? It is hard not to suspect that the company is only showing you what it wants you to see. Some negative reviews demonstrate that your team is comfortable being forthright with your customers. This is an important aspect of fostering trusting relationships with your buyers.

In many cases, negative reviews aren’t even flaws with the product. They may be about something secondary such as the delivery. Additionally, they may be contradicted by other positive reviews. However, displaying that bad customer feedback puts potential buyers at ease that you aren’t hiding any important information from them.

3. You Can Respond to Bad Reviews

Say you run a restaurant that offers delivery, and a customer received her food cold. If she didn’t leave a review saying so, you may never know there was a problem at all. However, if she gave you a bad review, you’d have a chance to respond and offer to make the situation better. It is an opportunity to convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy one, possibly even one who keeps coming back.

Mistakes happen in business, and products have flaws. However, many of these issues are limited in scope or are resolvable. When you engage with your customers following bad reviews, you can address their concerns and make them feel heard. In many cases, simply offering an apology and attempting to rectify the problem will result in a satisfied customer.

4. They Provide a More Accurate Picture

Many consumers examine both positive and negative reviews when making buying decisions. They compare what other buyers liked about a potential purchase against what they didn’t like. If they are able to find examples of both good and bad things about the product or service, they are more likely to believe the reviews.

If your product has a perfect five out of five stars from every review, many potential buyers will likely wonder whether the reviews are even real. Seeing some negative reviews helps them feel confident that they are getting an accurate and truthful representation of the good and bad aspects of your product.

5. Bad Reviews Let You Know How To Improve

Your products and services aren’t perfect. Every business can improve upon its offerings. Bad reviews give you a chance to improve. They are real feedback from real customers telling you what would make them happier with your business. In many ways, that is superior to traditional quality assurance testing.

Like all setbacks, a negative review can be a chance to learn. If you listen to what your customers have to say, you can improve your offerings, make them happier and increase your sales.

Join The Conversation With Opiniion

Don’t let those bad reviews go unread. They are opportunities for your business to be better and to increase sales. Opiniion is an automated tool that helps you collect authentic, real-time feedback from your customers. Get started today to get an in-depth insight into what your customers are saying. Alternatively, if you have any question, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

How to Deal With Negative Online Reviews

No matter how stellar your business, it is impossible to make all of the people happy all of the time. Part of doing business is accepting that, sometimes, you will have unsatisfied customers. Some of them will leave negative reviews and not all of them will do so politely.

So what should you do if a customer leaves an angry and possible unfair review? First and foremost, don’t panic. Even a few bad reviews will not tank your reputation. On the contrary, if you handle the situation correctly, you can leverage bad reviews to your benefit. 

Although no one enjoys receiving negative feedback, it is important to know that a harsh review is not the end of the world. Understanding how to handle bad reviews can help you improve your business and your relationship with your customers.

Understanding Negative Reviews

Bad reviews can come in different forms and arise from various causes. Figuring out what made a customer unhappy can give you the key to handling the situation correctly.

When you receive feedback from an unhappy customer, you can benefit from figuring out where it stems from. Sometimes, it really isn’t you – it’s them. Some people leave bad reviews because a difficult day led them to see inconvenience where there wasn’t any. Some people just enjoy complaining. But, in most cases, you can learn from bad reviews even when they may not be completely justified.

In many cases, customers leave a negative review because they had certain expectations of your business and feel you did not meet them. Perhaps they are upset because your restaurant had no high chairs or the garment they ordered did not fit. Other times, customers may complain about issues such as delivery or packaging. Some may be disappointed with the quality of customer service they encountered.

Another issue to think about is what the customer hopes to get out of leaving that review. Some may be just looking to vent their feelings. Others have a specific problem they want addressed; examples may include slow shipping, poor quality or unhelpful customer service. There is also a type of customer that complains hoping to get a price reduction or some other incentive.

How Negative Reviews Can Help Your Business

First and foremost, reviews from unhappy customers can help you identify ways to improve how you run your business. Even people who express their opinion with undue harshness can be making a valid point underneath the anger. 

Improving Your Company

Consider whether you could realistically make changes to decrease this mismatch between expectations and reality. Is your restaurant actually geared towards families with children? If so, you may want to invest in some high chairs or order additional ones. If not, do your marketing materials convey your brand accurately? Using a negative review as a learning opportunity gives you the chance to create more satisfied customers in the future.

Reviews can also tell you whether you may need to give customers additional information. For example, if you see reviews complaining about inaccurate sizing, consider including measurements as well as sizes. If you do provide relevant information such as shipping times, does your site display it prominently enough for shoppers to notice? Letting customers know what to expect can help them avoid getting unrealistic expectations. 

Feedback on your company’s customer service can also help you assess whether you need to make changes to your procedures or provide additional training. Check whether you have any rules in place that get in your staff’s way when they try to solve customers’ problems. 

Increasing Customer Trust

Even baseless reviews with no helpful content whatsoever can benefit your company. Many of today’s customers have heard of companies that purchase positive reviews or delete negative ones. When people see negative reviews sprinkled among the positive ones, they are more likely to believe the good feedback is genuine. 

Finally, negative reviews can still serve as a springboard for generating publicity. In most cases, there is indeed no such thing as bad publicity. The surrounding buzz can give you the opportunity to generate conversation about your company and steer it your way. 

Some companies have seen success by using a humorous, brand-consistent approach to handling the publicity. Use your own judgment when deciding how to deal with controversy. Whatever path you take, make sure it does not make you look angry or dishonest. 

Your takeaway here is that even the worst review can ultimately be good for your company if you approach it the right way. For this reason, avoid the temptation to delete negative feedback. 

Responding: Do’s and Don’ts

Now that you have left up to the negative reviews, how do you address them? While not all reviews need a response, responding can be a good tactic in some cases. An effective response may not only change the reviewing customer’s attitude but also showcase your professionalism to others browsing the site. Knowing what types of interactions cast a favorable light on your company can help you take the right course of action.

Do:

  • Respond in a professional manner consistent with your brand voice. This can mean being formal or using humor, so long as your tone is appropriate for your company’s image. 
  • Remain courteous and avoid personal attacks.
  • Acknowledge the customer’s issue. If appropriate, let them know you will have a representative get in touch to work out the details. You can also answer their question or clear up misunderstandings if you can do so briefly. Sometimes, you may want to email the customer in order to expand on your brief public reply.
  • Make a good-faith effort to effectively address legitimate issues the review points out. 

Don’t:

  • Respond to angry or profane reviews in kind. Keeping it professional is an easy way to show future readers the complaint in question is likely baseless and stems from anger. Using invective or personal insults, even if you are in the right, makes people think there was a good reason for the negative review. On the other hand, calm response to a review containing name-calling or cursing will highlight the reviewer’s irrationality and make you look better in comparison.
  • Become overly defensive. This can be a natural reaction, especially if you believe the review is not very truthful or fair. However, over-explaining will likely not convince the angry customer, while other readers may remain unimpressed. 
  • Make unrealistic or over-the-top promises to make everything perfect for the customer. Sometimes, the thing they complain about is not a problem you need to fix. Sometimes, a courteous apology for the customer’s disappointment is all you can realistically provide.
  • Ask a customer to remove or edit a bad review. To others, such a request will always appear as though you are trying to silence people and possibly hiding real problems with your business. This perception can lead people to mistrust even the many positive reviews they see.

Effective Ways to Handle Negative Reviews

The best way to offset the potential fallout of negative reviews is to have the majority of reviews be positive. Part of this is ensuring your customers have a truly positive experience with your company. However, this is not enough. You also want these happy customers to leave a good review. There are some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of positive feedback.

Help Customers Give Feedback

Make it easy for customers to leave reviews. This can mean providing a platform with review forms that are simple to fill out and submit. Select a high-quality interface that works well with various types of browsers and older operating systems. Asking specific questions and having customers click boxes to answer can work better than asking people to write something. Asking customers to rate specific aspects of their interactions can go a long way to producing reviews that help both your company and other shoppers.

Use a Mobile-Friendly System

Keep in mind many customers are doing their shopping and reviewing on mobile platforms. A mobile-friendly system that makes it easy to leave a quick review is another way to maximize your positive feedback numbers.

Offer Incentives

Writing a review takes time and effort, no matter how much you streamline the process. Customers are more likely to take action if you make it worth their while. Offering a small promotion or other incentives can give that extra boost of encouragement that will lead a customer to submit feedback. Be clear that the incentive you offer in no way depends on the content of the feedback.

Ask for Reviews

People are more likely to provide feedback and have strong opinions on more expensive items. Because they pay more, they also have higher expectations. Ask customers to review the higher-priced items from their shopping carts. 

Doing some research on what wording is more likely to elicit a review can help you increase your numbers. The best way to title and word your email can depend a lot on the type of business you run and the kind of product your customer purchased.

Optimize Your System

Using an effective system for soliciting and displaying feedback can help you increase the number of positive reviews. Opiniion presents you with up-to-date technology for gathering, displaying and interacting with customer reviews. The easy automated and customizable system makes it easy for customers to leave feedback and for you to gather actionable analytics. 

With our help, you can easily use top techniques to handle negative reviews effectively. Our system helps you easily gather positive feedback as well as communicate with unhappy customers to solve their problems. Visit our site or call us at 855-330-9980 to find out more about how we can help you grow your business and build a solid relationship with your customer base.