You have a small business, and you sometimes struggle with meeting payments and pleasing everyone. What else can go wrong?
Well, are you managing your online reputation?
Online reviews can have a big impact not only on your branding efforts but your strategy, as well.
Importance & Effect
Reviews influence your prospects’ purchase decision, they affect your rankings in the local search engines, and ultimately they affect the search results – meaning that they “choose” which one of them will get clicked on.
According to BrightLocal, about 88 percent of people consult online reviews before buying a product or service. And, not only that prospects trust these reviews, but they also influence where and what they shop.
To better understand how online reviews impact your business, you should know that by the time potential customers end up looking at reviews, they already decided in their minds what they need or want, and perhaps even what the profile of the business they’re looking for is. Once they read the review, the decision is made quite easily – it is usually a yes or a no.
BrightLocal also came up with a survey which stated that before making up their mind, most people need to look at about six reviews.
There are also differences regarding the type of business. For instance, if you have an accounting business, online reviews will be important, but not critical. However, if you own a restaurant, then your reviews must be almost flawless.
Why are online reviews so important for local search engines? The answer to that is rather simple – consumers dig online reviews. And that is only natural since they truly provide people with true, objective information that is helping them make wise choices.
What should you do when receiving negative reviews? To begin with, if the review has really gotten to you, restrain yourself from answering until you’ve cooled off. Usually, business owners that respond with anger draw more negative publicity to their firm. That is why you need an online reputation strategy in place.
Also, as an added strategy, before posting your response to a negative comment, show it to coworkers and see what adjustments need to be made. Sometimes, offering an intelligent response can impress potential buyers and make them buy from you despite the negative review.
Have you heard the saying “blessing in disguise”? Well, most of the times people leave bad reviews if they truly believe that something is wrong and should be corrected. That can be a good thing because it may help you identify a problem that was probably costing you money. Due to your prospects’ feedback, you have the ability to fix it without having to run a costly business audit.
Another golden rule regarding handling angry customers is to let them spill out all their reasons to be upset. Also, you must make sure that you ask them all the questions that you need, to understand their problem correctly. After you’ve made sure that you’ve understood this part, you can proceed to explain the customers the steps you will take to fix the problem. Most of the times, these clients return to give another review in which they state how their complaint was handled.
Sometimes the best solution is to craft a review acquisition strategy. But, to do that, you must first establish which review platform is best suited for you. To find that out, all you have to do is Google your industry followed by the word “review,” and you will get a list of relevant websites. Also, make sure that you understand the review policy for every platform so that you don’t make mistakes.
Without a doubt, there is a lot to be said about online reviews. To sum up, they have the ability to make or break your business, and this is why you need to put up in place a consistent strategy. From bad reviews to knowing how to use them in your favor, planet internet is full of traps, but it’s nothing that cannot be fixed with a bit of patience and research.
Need help with online reviews or reputation management? Contact us for help.