Know Why Online Reviews Are Important for Business
As a small business owner, your reputation is everything. Online reviews can destroy your credibility and brand. However, they can also help you grow your business too. Below are tips on designing your online review system, things to think about when evaluating a review, and three benefits of online reviews.
Designing Your Online System:
1. Setup Google Alerts based on keywords. This will deliver to your email inbox daily alerts when your Business’ name, personal name, and keywords are used online.
2. Ask for reviews. Solicit reviews when you send out your newsletter. You can use the footer of your document to ask for reviews on contracts and invoices. Social media posts are another place to ask for reviews. Follow up with your customers and ask for reviews.
3. Place a link on your website and social media accounts. Post the links to the reviews on your website and social media accounts. When your customers are reading the reviews they may be inspired to leave one too.
4. Respond – quickly, politely, and personally. Respond to good and bad reviews quickly, politely, and in a very personal tone. Offer a solution if the person is not happy. Do not argue or be confrontational when responding to a negative review. Do not get into a fight online.
5. Make adjustments. Reviews allow you to see what is working and not working in your business. Take prompt corrective action within your business.
Things to think about:
1. What is your overall score? If you have a high score do not worry needlessly about one negative comment.
2. When was your last review? If you have no current reviews, start asking for them. Be relevant.
3. How many reviews do you have and what is the ratio of good to bad? Again, if it is a great ratio don’t worry about one bad one.
4. What are the Terms of Service for that particular site and can bad reviews be removed? People do like to see negative or bad reviews. This allows them to get a balanced view of the business. They will make their own judgment call on whether the review was unwarranted or not. They will also be looking at your overall score. If the reviews were crushing and unwarranted and the host site allows for their removal, then, by all means, ask to have it removed.
Benefits of Online Reviews:
1. SEO – reviews help with search engine optimization.
2. Semantic Analysis – understand the feelings of your reviewer. Check your ego at the door. What were they really saying with the review? What was his or her expectation? Maybe the person was not your ideal customer and should never have made the purchase.
3. Keeps you sharp – when you know that your online reputation is at stake you will implement systems and review them often to see that they are working. No one wants to intentionally deliver poor customer service or shoddy services. Knowing that people can post a complaint will keep you and your employees from becoming complacent.
Online reviews are here to stay, you should not ignore them. When you design a strategy for monitoring and replying to online reviews you will present your business as a professional organization that cares about their customers. When you were an employee at a business or in the military you received performance appraisals. Online reviews are the performance appraisals for your business.