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As the executive responsible for Pluck’s moderation services business, I work with some of the world’s biggest and most active communities. Naturally, in this role I’ve observed that more and more brands are recognizing the value in giving their customers a way to voice feedback about their products and services. Website reviews often provide the best platform to do this. Potential consumers get guidance which helps them feel more confident in making the right purchase, and manufactures and retailers get the benefit of insights and an expanded audience. Providing that forum (a very public one at that), in turn, also presents a parallel peril. Gasp -- what if they say something negative?
It’s evitable – there will be a naysayer. It’s a scary proposition, and the instinct may be to immediately yank unfavorable commentary. Censoring real experiences may do more harm than the review itself however.
The review has delivered exactly what was intended, and even if it’s critical, it’s an authentic point of view. Consumers are savvy and too many positive reviews often create suspicion that the overall message isn’t honest. All those great reviews that remain published end up having the opposite effect and may drive people away. We all know that feeling; something here seems too good to be true – runnnn!
OK, now what? Take a deep breath and consider the possibilities. The dark shadow may in fact be a golden opportunity.
Be prepared – it’s not a matter of if, but when
Don’t ignore – pretending it’s not there doesn’t make it go away
Address the issue – acknowledge the feedback quickly and fix the problem whenever possible
Make the “foe” a friend – customer service follow-up will ensure they will be back again
Learn from it – use the experience as an opportunity to make positive changes
Ultimately this is a scenario that nobody wants to run into, but with the right strategy and practices, reviews of all kind can provide great food for thought, even when they're a bit hard to digest.
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