Online Reputation Management For Local Businesses”
Before you purchase a product, service, or experience, you likely read reviews. Research groups have found that you’re a part of the majority. Approximately 91% of people browse online reviews, and 86% of people put the same amount of confidence in those reviews as they would in a review from a friend or family member.
Reviews are weighty. Your reviews can dictate the future of your business in Tucson and everyone is listening. This puts business owners in a complicated position. They need as many positive reviews as possible, and they also need to be able to handle excessively negative, defamatory, or outright false reviews. A combination of incentivizing reviews and online reputation management can achieve that outcome.
Making Yourself Available For Reviews
If a customer has to jump through hoops to give you a positive review, they’re less likely to do it. People who are frustrated may be willing to go a little farther to share a negative experience as a way to handle their anger. If you have 95 happy customers and five who have something to gripe about, you’re more likely to hear from the five if the happy folks don’t know where to go.
By making yourself easy to review though as many avenues as possible, you’re increasing the chances that the positives reviews will come in at a larger volume than your negative reviews.
Yelp And TripAdvisor
Yelp and TripAdvisor are the most popular outlets for reviews. Yelp exists specifically for businesses, and TripAdvisor focuses mainly on businesses near popular tourist areas. They both have a similar submission process. You fill out a short electronic form to submit your business; the company reviews it, and then allows you to claim your business page. When it goes live, you can start accepting reviews immediately.
Facebook is a valuable tool, because billions of people use it. People might stumble across your business on Facebook and want to know more about you. When they visit your page, they’ll be able to view photos, videos, text posts, reviews, and outbound links to your website.
Facebook business pages allow for star ratings and comments. If you don’t use Facebook for your business, open up your business page. You might have to switch page types if your current designation doesn’t allow for public feedback.
Listing your business with Google is a great practice. It gives you legitimacy, boosting trust with people who are researching you. When someone Googles your business, a side bar will come up featuring important information about your business, including reviews. Submit your listing if you haven’t yet.
Your Own Website
Allowing customers to leave reviews directly on your website will influence people to make a quicker purchase decision. If they’re on the fence, seeing positive reviews accompanying the product or service will make the offer more enticing.
If you sell your products on Amazon, Etsy, or another popular third party vendor, the option to leave reviews is already integrated into the process. You won’t have to do much – the platform will encourage the customer to leave a review.
Encouraging Customers To Leave Reviews
Many third party review sites have a strict policy against businesses influencing customers to leave positive feedback. They don’t know if the customers have been paid or provided free products or services for doing so. This is an unethical practice, and it may result in your business being removed.
Since directly incentivizing a review can get you stuck in the mud, try pointing out the link without imposing language. If you have an upcoming sale or active coupon code, mention at the bottom of your marketing email or promotional post where reviews can be left.
By simply stating “You can review us on this platform!” is not a direct ask – it’s a tacked-on bit of information. It’s a good idea to encourage customers to mention that they used a discount code, be it a Groupon or something else. It will remove some doubts the platform may have about the review’s legitimacy.
Another way to increase your chances of positive reviews is to include the information (complete with links) at the bottom of a follow up email or shipping notification. If you have a physical location, you can print it on the back of your receipts.
Appropriately Handling Negative Reviews
Negative reviews themselves aren’t necessarily a problem – the average consumer knows that not everyone will be satisfied with a product or service. What matters most is how you respond. Simply deleting negative reviews can cause outrage, not only by the person who left that review, but also by people who find that practice to be suspicious. Responding negatively or fighting with customers has caused businesses to go viral in a highly unfavorable way.
Negative reviews are an especially important customer service tool. Your public response acknowledging the problem and proposing a solution to a dissatisfied customer shows that you take customer care seriously. People reading will be able to see that you promptly resolve these issues.
What Online Reputation Management Can Do
Online reputation management is excellent for businesses who find themselves in one of three scenarios: they’ve had a public customer service mishap, they’ve used an ineffective review strategy that has only drawn in negative reviews, or they’re being trolled by someone leaving false negative reviews.
Online reputation management cleans up your name. Not everything can be taken off of the internet, but it can be made a lot more difficult to find. It can help you clean up excessively negative reviews by working with the reviewer and the platform, which is even easier if that review contains personal information, profanity, or anything else that might violate the review platform’s terms of service. What can’t be removed can likely be changed.
Online reputation management is most helpful in burying the negatives. With a search engine optimization strategy, positive or neutral things about your business can be lifted above negative things. If they’re pushed to the bottom of the first page or the second page of search results, people will be less likely to see them.
If you’re in need of a little rebranding and you’d like to employ a better positive review strategy, online reputation management can help you achieve that goal in a reasonable amount of time. When coupled with effective changes in policy, it can help you achieve higher levels of success than you previously thought possible.
If you’re still not quite sure how to tackle a positive review campaign, or you have some things about your business online that you’d rather most people didn’t see, we’re the best at solving those issues. Just give us a call or drop us a line through our contact form so we can get to work on a strategy designed specifically for you.