BREAKING: Consumers care about online reviews

Published: January 26, 2015  by 

Consumers are jumping on the online review bandwagon at a record pace. Is your business ready?

87792023-266x400Online Reviews are pretty darn important. There is no getting around it. I won’t even pick out a snow cone stand without knowing which one has the best rated virgin strawberry daiquiri around. When I crave girly flavored ice shavings, want the best. This trend is picking up steam across all business verticals. People want to know what others think before they jump in and try a business out and online review sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon, Google+ and Angie’s List are making it easy for consumers to share experiences.

Businesses with profiles on relevant online review sites have the leg up on their competitors. Around 72% of consumers said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That is a large number of people that could be ignoring your business if you don’t have an online review management strategy.

So how do you become an actively reviewed business?

Here are a few simple steps to get in a position to be reviewed:

  • Make sure your business is listed on relevant review sites.  People cannot review your business if they can’t find it. Review management is essential to local SEO. Create accounts on the most important sites for your business and build your profile with all the information, photos and videos the listing will allow.
  • Give your customer a reason to get excited. Give your customers an experience above and beyond what they expected. Smile, ask questions, go the extra mile to make them remember their experience. Being courteous and friendly can go a long to create a memorable experience.
  • Ask your customers to share their experience online. Now that you have a place for and gave them a reason to leave you a great review, ask them to share their experience online. Tell them how much you would appreciate their feedback and let them know where they can review your business online.
  • Listen to what customers are saying. If you are receiving more bad reviews than good reviews, listen to what they are saying. There may be a problem with your business that you need to address. This is an issue that can be  esolved with online review management.
  • Respond to every review that you receive. Make sure you thank people for their good reviews and address the problems stated in the bad reviews. That is right, there will be bad reviews. No business is perfect and there are some people who are simply never happy. Never lose your temper. Calmly say you are sorry their experience was not good and ask them to contact you privately so you can discuss how to improve your business and keep them as a customer. As long as you can more good reviews than bad, you will be just fine.

Finally, the most important thing to remember: Be patient. This is an ongoing process. Make review building a permanent part of your business practices and work at it every day.

Does this sound like too much of a hassle? Not sure where to start? Give us a shout. We can help with online review management.

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