Let Your Customers Advertise For You
When was the last time that you searched online for what people are saying about you or your company? With so many smart phones in use today, it has become very easy for people to post some comment or review of your business online. There are a wide variety of sites where customers can post reviews, and an equally abundant amount of apps that they can install on their phones to make this even easier.
The opinions of your customers can act as a great marketing tool. People naturally feel more comfortable giving their money to businesses where they know that other people have received good service. Positive reviews can help catapult your business above all of your competition (even if they are listed above you in the search results when people search for your type of business). If you search for somewhere to eat in a certain city are you going to choose the first restaurant that comes up or are you going to look for the first one that has great reviews?
If you Build It They Will Come…
In order to encourage customers to leave reviews of your business, you should make it as easy as possible for them to find you online. Establishing a presence on all of the major review sites is a strong start, but there are also many smaller review sites that only a small amount of people (and the search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) think to go to. While the majority of your reviews will probably come from the major sites, having a presence on the smaller ones will help to ensure that if you get a customer who regularly uses one of those other sites it will be easy for them to find you there. Any good review on any website can only help you, and once it’s put online the search engines will find it.
Don’t Let Bad Reviews Get You Down
However, online reviews can be a double-edged sword. The bad ones can drive potential customers away instead of pulling them in. Your business could be at that prized spot at the top of the search results, but if it has a lot of bad reviews people will probably move on to the next one (especially if the bad reviews have gone unanswered by your company). This is why monitoring the online presence and reputation of your business is so crucial. By making sure to keep an eye out for any reviews you can post good comments to any reviews. Naturally, you don’t want to get too defensive and post unprofessional comments in response to bad reviews. You should use this opportunity to explain your company’s side of whatever the issue was as courteously and professionally as possible (keeping in mind that whatever you post will be seen by anyone else looking for your business and reading this review in the future). With the right mentality and proper wording, good responses to bad reviews can not only help reduce the impression that the bad review leaves on others but also encourage people reading the bad review to come to your business anyway.