How important are online customer reviews? Very important—more than 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 72% of consumers will make a purchase only after reading positive reviews. Since 91% of typical U.S. consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews, a review process can help you receive more reviews and effectively manage your online reputation.
Claim your business listings
If you haven’t already claimed your business on Google, Yelp, and other local search listings, now is the time. Claiming any online listing of your business verifies that you are the owner of a valid business and authorized to manage your business information. Once you claim your listings, you’ll be able to update your contact information, add your logo or photos, and monitor and respond to customer reviews.
Mistakes to avoid
Never pay for reviews, review your own business, or ask your staff to leave reviews on your behalf. Don’t post reviews of your competitors or respond to negative reviews in an unprofessional way. Be sure to follow the guidelines of each review platform—Yelp specifically prohibits you from directly asking your customers to leave reviews. By following these best practices, you will protect your business and your online reputation.
Most consumers leave reviews only if their experience was extremely positive or extremely negative. The experience and service you provide to your customers or clients makes the greatest impact on the number of reviews you’ll receive. Delivering the best customer service experience possible is the most important step you can take to earn positive reviews.
Many happy customers forget to write reviews or think they don’t have the time. The solution is to make the review process as simple as possible. Invite your customers to a designated place on your website such as a reviews or testimonials page where they can share about their experience with you and become reviewers. Use email, text, or print campaigns to guide them through the process.
Monitor your online reputation
Monitoring your reviews is crucial to managing your online reputation and growing your business. Reviews do more than just reflect your offerings and customer service—they influence your search rankings, help your business stand out, and provide you with a great opportunity to engage with and learn from your customers.
Responding to positive reviews in a personal way encourages your customers to keep engaging with your business, and responding to negative reviews demonstrates that you’re willing to take responsibility. When other new customers see that you respond to all reviews in a timely way, it sends the message that you care about the customer experience and provides these new customers with an added incentive to share their own positive experience.
Ready to implement a reputation management strategy for your business? We can help—contact us today to get started.