Word of mouth travels fast, but digital word travels faster. Reviews can make or break a business so now is the perfect time to amp up your reputation management and monitoring. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, it found that 93% of consumers read local reviews to make a shopping decision. The 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey stated that negative reviews convinced 94% of consumers surveyed to avoid a particular business.
Reviews have so much buying and lead generation power so it is highly important to monitor your reviews in order to maintain good rapport with your consumers. Commonly used review sites are Yelp!, TripAdvisor, Google my Business, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, Facebook Reviews, Zomato (formerly known as UrbanSpoon) and business specific sites such as other apartment, hotel, product, etc. rating sites. Here are some of our best tips and tricks for navigating online review management:
1) Monitor the sites at least twice a week.
Incorporate monitoring your review sites into your schedule at least twice a week. It is best to monitor on Mondays and Thursdays so you can see reviews from the weekend and throughout the week. However, you can choose days to monitor that best fit your business model.
2) Respond to comments – positive or negative.
Responding to reviews is important because it establishes reliability and keeps you in the know of when unexpected things happen. Thank your reviewers for a positive response. While it may only take a few minutes to create a review and post it online, every single one of those stars helps your business grow. If they respond negatively, assess their problems, come up with a solution and respond in a timely fashion. It is not a good idea to leave a negative review unanswered. If it goes unanswered, it looks like your business is not paying attention to its digital consumers and that the problem has not been addressed.
3) Keep calm and be patient with claiming your page.
While the digital world is quick, claiming your page takes time. With so many hoops to jump through, be patient with each sites approval process because it ensures you are a credible business among your consumers.
4) Say NO to FAKE reviews.
Fake reviews make your company seem less credible, and it is against the policies of many review sites. It is also a huge turn-off to consumers because they want honesty from people who have actually experienced what your company has to offer.
5) Encourage people to review your business.
Ask people who had a good experience to write a review. The worst they can say is, “Sorry, not at this time.” It can be as simple as saying, “Like your experience? Give us a review on Yelp!” on a receipt or creating a social media post to share online. It never hurts to ask.
6) Use review sites to gain insight into your business’s products or services.
The greatest thing about reviews is that they show you where you are doing well and where you can improve. Take the time to use your review sites to your advantage and improve your business’s reputation.