A reputation can make or break a business. And your business’s online reputation is at the forefront. A business’s online reputation is crucial to keep an eye on. It’s reported that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
With just a few swipes, people hop on Facebook and check a business’s page to look at its reviews. With just a simple Google search, consumers can view the business’s Google reviews or pull up its Yelp page for more reviews.
It’s incredibly easy to write and find reviews online. What’s interesting is that people are so trusting of these reviews. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The reviewers are complete strangers, but people trust their opinions and take them into account before visiting the business.
Maybe a negative reviewer just has a personal grudge against one of the employees and that’s why they wrote a vicious review. Or maybe a competitor wrote a negative review to make their business look better. Although these types of phony reviews sadly happen, fake reviews only account for 10% of all reviews, according to Cornell researchers.
Let’s be honest, negative reviews suck. You probably feel a pit in your stomach when you read a negative review about your business. Whenever we receive negative Facebook reviews on our clients’ accounts, it hurts. It’s not even our business, but it’s hard not to take it personally.
The important thing to remember is that it might be a negative review, but it’s also an opportunity. Maybe one of your employees really did make a mistake that can be fixed. Wouldn’t you want to know about it so you can train them better and make sure it doesn’t happen again? Sometimes these negative reviews bring things to your attention that you would’ve never known otherwise and it can therefore help you improve your business.
When to Respond
If you are a business owner and get a negative review, when should you respond? Respond to reviews that are either 1,2 or 3 stars and that involve issues that were the company’s fault or it’s a situation that you can salvage. Ideally, try to make amends with these angry customers and correct the situation. It’s very important to be apologetic if it was indeed the company’s fault. Sorry goes a long way.
Then if you are able to fix the problem and change the customer’s opinion, you can ask them to revise their original reviews. You would be surprised by how many people are willing to do so once you go out of your way to solve their problem. Many customers do not mind updating their review if they feel the company resolved their issue.
It’s also nice to respond to positive reviews you receive on your Facebook page because it is so easy to write a short comment thanking them of their kind words and letting them know you appreciate their business.
Reputation Management: stay on top of it.
It’s important to regularly check your reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. to make sure you’re seeing your reviews and responding promptly. Businesses need to constantly be aware of their reviews and the importance of them since the majority of customers check online reviews and trust them.
Ask for Support
It’s also beneficial to solicit a review when there has been an exceptional customer experience. If one of your employees had a great interaction with a customer, have that employee simply remind the customer the business is on Facebook, Yelp and Google if they would like to share their experience with others. If you really want to take your reviews into high gear, you may want to consider using materials like review cards that you pass out to customers after their transaction.
So if you haven’t realized by now, online reviews can be very important for your business. Just like your normal reputation, you want to make sure your business has a great online reputation as well.
–Alexa Ude, Account Assistant