How To Manage A Small Business’s Online Reviews
This article talks about ways a small business can manage good and bad reviews and how digital marketing companies can help them.
You served a client with the best of services. You thought you did enough. Unfortunately, the same client posted a review on an online platform that didn’t align with your thoughts. They criticized your services and showed displeasure. What do you do now?
What you do next and how you respond to bad (and good) reviews can build or damage your small business’s reputation.
Importance of Online Reviews for Small Businesses
Whether it is making a purchasing decision or buying a service, consumers prefer to read reviews online beforehand. According to a Trustpilot survey in 2020, nine out of 10 consumers read online reviews before making any purchasing decision.
That’s some reliance on reviews, isn’t it?
There is no denying the fact that online reviews drive businesses to a large extent. Your business can increase by as much as 9% simply by an added star in the rating. It’s not surprising that over 49% of people avoid businesses that have ratings lower than four stars.
For a small firm, good online reviews and ratings mean more customers walking in through the door while bad reviews mean driving away potentially interested clients.
Ways to Get Good Reviews
You know you offer stellar services. You know your clients are happy because they keep coming back. But does the world know? Good reviews help spread the word about your good services. This can only happen when satisfied clients leave behind a good review. Redirect them to places where they can write or rate you. Make it a policy to always ask them to review your services. Remind them, without being annoying. Send links on where they can review. Giving incentives isn’t a great idea. Rather tell them how a good word from them will help your small business reach more potential clients.
Add a button on your website to send them easily to review sites like Facebook and Yelp. Set up an email for the same purpose. These SEO tactics will boost your online presence, drive in more clients, and help your old customers feel valued. If you are unsure about these things, seek help from an efficient digital marketing team.
Benefitting from Bad Reviews
We all want good reviews, so do you. But like in life there are thorns along with the roses, reviews too are a mixed bag of goods and bad. How you decide to respond to a bad review can make a real difference to how prospective clients perceive you.
Carefully crafting your response to a bad review will show that you are listening. If you are wondering how to manage a small business’s online reviews, especially the bad ones, the best approach is to simply acknowledge that you heard them. Show your willingness to solve a particular problem, build a better relationship with clients and not just ignore them.
You may not be able to address every disagreement online due to confidentiality but keeping the doors open for resolution is a step in the right direction. And that’s all that matters when bad reviews come your way.
How to Manage a Small Business’s Online Reviews
Managing reviews is the best way to deal with criticism and appreciation online. While the most popular and relevant reviews can be found on Google itself, there are other prominent review sites too that consumers and clients often visit. The basic guideline on how to manage online reviews remain the same.
Irrespective of what reviewers say about you, when you respond, be professional. Do not get emotional while responding as that won’t help your cause. Be sure that you are seen as a level-headed expert.
Be Sincere and Emphatic
When a good review comes your way, be sincere in showing gratitude. Thank them for sparing time to review your services. In case of bad reviews too, offer an emphatic response. Be open to more conversations and try to tell your side of the story as professionally as you can.
Offer Solutions Where Possible
Many times because of confidentiality clauses you may not be able to tell the complete story online. But wherever possible, offer solutions. Fix the problem, personally meet the person, or offer recommendations.
Be Consistent with Responses
Don’t respond only when you have time. Fix a schedule – once a week, daily or every other day – and stick to it. Respond to as many reviews as you can. However, if you do not have any reviews to respond to, reach out to your clients asking them to review you. By showing your consistency, you demonstrate your responsiveness and reliability.
Responding to Google reviews is easy. You simply need to log on to your My Business profile for it. The dashboard is pretty much self-explanatory and you shouldn’t have trouble.
Managing Reviews on Other Online Platforms
Yelp – Yelp has strict guidelines against companies offering incentives in exchange of reviews. Make sure you do not make any such offers. It is also possible for a review to go into the “not recommended” section because you have been inactive on the platform. Ensure that no good reviews get hidden in this section, though a couple of bad reviews hidden there wouldn’t hurt, right? Whenever you use Yelp, be sure you understand their content guidelines because violating them could lead to the removal of all your reviews and your account too.
Avvo – It is a site dedicated to lawyers. If you run a small law firm, getting positive reviews on Avvo means a great deal for a small business. The platform has a friendly FAQ section which means that all your queries about fabricated reviews, negative reviews, responding to reviews will be instantly answered.
Facebook – If you have a Facebook business page that is linked to a local address, then Facebook Reviews will get automatically turned on. Responding to reviews is pretty much the same as commenting on posts. However, removing individual reviews is a tad bit difficult. You have to take extreme measures of dismantling your review settings through the Admin Panel.
Get A Digital Marketing Team Onboard
You may think that managing reviews on various platforms isn’t time-consuming. That may be true but only when a system is in place. But unless you start rolling the ball and reviews (good and bad) start coming your way, you do not have a system in place. This means you will need to start at the very beginning –engaging with your clients, requesting, and cajoling them to review you. This is a lot of work. You will need help if you want to hit the bull’s eye. Getting a digital marketing team on board is a smart move as you can take their help to improve your online visibility.
Cyrusson Inc. is a leading digital marketing company catering to the needs of small businesses. We have a full-proof plan that will ensure that your clients review your business, and you respond to them. We also have other services to offer such as content development, website development, SEO, brand building etc. Get in touch with us today to know how you can manage your reviews better.