Protecting your brand’s online reputation is more important now than ever. Read on to see why!
Properly managing your reviews online is critical for businesses in 2018. The answer may seem obvious as to why it’s important to have positive reviews online, but over 76% of small businesses do not actively respond to customer reviews. Businesses always want to generate more revenue, so why not start with your existing customer base? By not properly managing reviews, you are letting potential review disappear. Online reviews are everywhere now, here are some things to consider when addressing yours:
According to studies, a staggering 90% of consumers say the check online reviews before listing a business, and 68% say they influence their purchasing decisions. (Source: Opinion Research Corp., June 2016). As we noted above, reviews are everywhere. Depending on the type of business you run, certain review platforms may be more important than others. For example, Yelp is more important for those in the food industry, whereas TripAdvisor would be more important for tourist related businesses. How does this translate to dollars for your business? A 2016 study showed that for every one star increase in a Yelp rating, a business can expect a 5-9% increase in revenue. Often times when searching for things to do or places to eat, these review websites will populate on Google search results far before the business website. If you are not actively managing reviews, you could be missing a lot of potential business.
As a business owner, you have to be honest with yourself. When you are reading negative reviews on Google, Facebook, or other websites, are they accurate? If they are, the best way to deal with them is by fixing the root cause of the issue. Delivery time taking too long? Rude employees? Contractors late to appointments? No matter what the issue is, it can be addressed. When looking for help with online reviews, before you contact an agency to respond to these reviews for you, fix the root cause. Otherwise, the situation will never get better.
Have a review that you find is not accurately portraying your business? This happens, don’t drive yourself crazy over a one off review. Often times a customer may confuse you with another business, or a competitor who feels threatened may leave you a negative review. By quickly browsing all of your ratings, you can get a true sense of how the business is performing.
To properly manage your online reputation, you have to respond to every review, both positive and negative. This is a huge miss for most businesses. You must take the time to acknowledge positive reviews, and the responses need to be genuine. If you receive a lot of reviews this is when hiring an agency to help respond makes sense. A good agency will work with you to learn your business culture, and what responses should sound like. Whether an agency or an internal employee is responding, make sure the tone and voice of the response is cohesive with your branding.