Online Reviews – You Gotta Have Them!
Not that long ago, when you needed advice to hire a plumber or where to have dinner, you would ask
family and friends. Today, although this option is still possible, consumers and businesses turn to the internet to find out about others’ experiences through online reviews.
There are numerous online platforms that present reviews for all types of companies. From dentists to safaris, a customer can quickly get agood sense about others’ experiences with a business. Even though the people leaving the reviews are strangers, when these reviews are taken as a whole, the reader gets a good sense whether the company they are considering hiring is reputable and delivers quality goods or services. In addition to the actual reviews, stars or points help sort listings.
We often hear that our clients have resisted asking their customers for online reviews for fear of having negative posts appear. If customers are not enjoying positive experiences with your business, wouldn’t you want to know? And,people talk about your business whether there are online reviews or not. So, unless your business consistently fails to deliver positive experiences, don’t hesitate to ask for reviews.
What to do if someone posts a negative review?
- Acknowledge the post
- Let others know you care and are taking action
- Deal with the upset customer offline, away from a public view
On most platforms, the business has the option to reply to the post and the best practice is to apologize, acknowledge the situation and take it offline. For example, a reply could be: “I’m sorry you had a poor experience at our facility, as that’s not typical. Please direct message us so that we can make it up to you.”
Online reviews are not only ideal for people to find you and givethem confidence that you are a reputable business to work with, there is also a Google ranking benefit. Google’s algorithm heavily weighs online reviews, so having positive, 5 star reviews contributes to ranking your website higher in Google’s results.