Why should I care for Reviews?
As commerce has become increasingly more digital, businesses are investing more time and effort into maintaining online profiles on platforms such as Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Digital reviews and online reputation can make up a majority of your brand awareness in both a positive and negative way. User reviews are often the first thing people see about a business, and quite often, this can make the difference between a customer using your business or looking elsewhere. Online reviews matter now more than ever!
With this in mind, here are three tips we recommend for managing your online reviews…
Tip 1: Promote and Encourage New Reviews
If you are confident in the quality of the service or product you offer, you should always be promoting customer reviews to use on your social media accounts, website, and other digital platforms. Encouraging your customers to leave a review is a great way to build a testimonial archive for your business and would ideally be accompanied by a high “star rating” on places like Yelp and Google My Business. Offering convenient ways to quickly leave a review through QR Codes is one of our favorite ways to promote higher engagement.
Tip 2: Respond to your Negative Reviews (Respectfully!)
While it would be great to believe that your business will never receive a negative review, it is important to understand how to handle them when they do inevitably come in. If you find yourself in this situation, there are two themes you should look for:
- A legitimate customer with honest feedback
- Online trolls or dishonest customers
Legitimate customers are much easier to spot and may also have other reviews for other businesses in their history. If they had a bad experience with your business, reach out and offer to make the situation right. This can be done by responding to their review, which has the benefit of showing that your business is committed to improving.
Online trolls are a different story. These people are often impossible to deal with and are only looking to cause controversy. If you think somebody is dishonestly reviewing your business, feel free to call them out on it, but do so in a respectful manner. While it isn’t always fair that anybody can leave a review for your business outside of your control, there are still ways to protect your online reputation.
Tip 3: Don’t Live and Die on the Elusive 5-Star Review
You and your business may be looking for that glowing 5-star review everytime you service a customer, but don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t always happen. A business with 200 reviews and a 4.2 star rating will always maintain a higher reputation than a business with 20 reviews and a 5 star rating. People want to know that your business has worked with enough customers to actually substantiate the rating you received.
At first glance, this may seem like an impossible battle to win. Placing a large responsibility for the success of your business into the hands of unknown consumers is a risk any business takes in allowing and encouraging online reviews. Ideally, your business would only ever score glowing reviews due to the quality of your product or service, but this is not always the case. This is where reputation management comes into the equation. Digital marketing companies (such as ourselves) are now offering reputation management services on platforms such as Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, and Facebook to help manage your ratings and highlight the key reviews. If you would like to learn more, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.