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People are very interested in business and product reviews these days. It’s the reality of doing business online in this modern world and it will only become a bigger part of our purchasing habits as we advance and shop remotely. What this means for you as a business is it’s time to realize the importance of online reputation management.
Online reputation management is a way for you to manage and respond to user customer reviews online through various channels such as Google+ and Facebook. It can be hard to keep an eye on all of your reviews, but for the welfare of your business reputation, it’s a good idea to dedicate a portion of your time to it, or ask your team to monitor reviews on a regular basis. Unfortunately, you are at the mercy of your customers/reviewers because you can’t edit what they say, however, you can control how you interact and respond to them, particularly negative reviews.
Research suggests Google gives higher scores to businesses with more reviews and higher ratings, especially when it comes to local search results. Again, Google’s intention is to show the most relevant information to users, so why wouldn’t they want to put forth the best local options with the best customer ratings?
What should you do if you get a negative review? Respond to it in a professional manner. It’s important for your ratings and local SEO, but more importantly, for your reputation – online and offline. Good customer service can make or break a company’s reputation, we already know that. But taking the time to respond to a negative review with a sincere response can actually turn the situation into something positive. Prospective customers who read your response may really appreciate how you dealt with the situation. No company is perfect, but you can make a positive out of something negative if it’s handled properly.
How can you get more positive reviews? Ask your happy customers to review their experience on the spot. One way to do that is to include a link to your business’ review page, such as Google+, Yelp, Facebook or other. Include those links in the checkout experience, or in an email, or text message. You can also add the links in a thank you or confirmation email.
Unless you put it out there, your customers may not even know you have review pages. Satisfied customers are typically more than happy to share their experiences with others online, so take advantage of their generosity.