Do you know what people are saying?

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Do You Know What People Are Saying
About Your Business Online?

Before making a decision to purchase from a business, many shoppers will do an online search to browse a company’s review sites, social media, and online presence. Over 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and over 80% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Positive reviews lead to 74% of consumers trusting a local business more. As you can see, your company’s online reviews carry a lot of weight with your customers.
Many businesses reply to negative reviews with their side of the story or maybe even a public apology. Positive reviews should get the same amount of attention to help them see how important they are to you. Whether you receive a positive review or a negative review it should be replied to as soon as possible. Being attentive and responding quickly is a reflection of the quality of your customer service and it lets the reviewer know that you care about retaining them as customers.

Own and Respond to Your Reviews

It’s important to have control over your review sites by claiming, owning or having administration permission granted. When someone takes the time to write a paragraph about their experience with your business, they should receive more than a quick like or a thumbs up from you. Let them know their review is appreciated. Read the review more than once and really think about your reply before typing. Each review should be replied to individually and in a thoughtful, sincere way.

What reviews are not worthy of a reply?

Only the ones that can be removed. When disputing a negative review, a good rule of thumb is to not submit a lengthy story of who, what, where, when, and how. Stick to the why and keep it as simple as possible. An example of this type of reply would be, “Disgruntled past employee”.
Many review sites such as Yelp have rules about who can write a review. Current and past employees, the owner, and any associates, are not allowed to review your business.

Why are some reviews not recommended?

Reviewers are screened using software which checks for quality, reliability and user activity. Whether the review is good or bad, there is a very good chance it will be disregarded or categorized as “Not Recommended” or “Not Relevant” if the account they are using is new, without a profile or the user has been flagged for inappropriate behavior. A review can also be marked as fake if there are multiple reviews originating from the same computer. Most review sites cannot override their system software to recommend or not recommend a review.

How do you collect quality reviews?

Consider asking your customers if they have a Yelp, Houzz or other review site accounts before asking them to leave you a review. If their answer is, “Yes, I have a Yelp account”, your answer should be, “Great! I look forward to reading your review!”. If they don’t have a review site account, let them know that they can also find you on Facebook. Facebook reviews are equally as important.
Your business benefits from reviews on as many platforms as possible. Having one hundred reviews on Facebook only helps if your prospective customers are active on Facebook.
To offer review options for everyone, create accounts on all the review sites that your business qualifies for. It doesn’t matter how shoppers find you as long as they do!
Your relationship with a customer is even more important after you’ve made the sale. Review sites and social platforms have made great strides towards removing barriers between companies and their customers. Instead of making phone calls, many people turn to these platforms to solve problems or find information.
Pay close attention to what is being said about your business and check your online presence daily. How fast you respond and what you say can make or break a future sale, a repeat customer or a referral.
Don’t forget to check the Better Business Bureau. It’s important to know if someone has filed a complaint before the BBB contacts you to offer mediation for the dispute.

All articles are written by Green Strategy Online Reputation Management team members.
For commercial and media use please email us at media@greenstrategyonlinereputationmanagement.com
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