How to manage your small business online reviews for maximum benefits

How critical is online reviews to businesses? What you need to know

Does your business have some bad online reviews? Are you afraid they’re costing you business?

What can you do about them? Can you avoid them completely?

First, don’t panic. Not every customer knows what they’re talking about, some people can not be satisfied, and with some people there is such a thing as “bad fit” where their style of being a customer and your style of providing services just don’t sync.

It happens.

How critical is online reviews to business?

Very.

Negative review costs your small business.

While it is true one bad review can cost you business. the main goal is to have lots of positive reviews to offset the occasional negative one.

I’ve heard rumors that on Yelp in particular, if your business has no negative review, positive reviews are supressed as that looks unnatural. They think you’re gaming their system.

More reviews are very significant

To some small business, having no reviews is good to them but the reality is that having more positive reviews increases your sales

Many people do research before making a purchase and they trust businesses that have at least 5 positive reviews.

Your Google reviews show up in the search listings

Your ratings affects how many click-throughs your pages get in the search results.

All your reviews appear as part of your search listing (stars) within Google My Business (formerally Google Local Business) and when your searcher clicks the stars, the reviews open up. If your reviews are better, it will positively affect your click through rate.

Also you need to understand that there are some customers who do not really depend on better reviews alone. Some people understand how negative customers and some businesses game the system. Some negative customers game the system by simply being negative (some Yelp reviewers never post positive reviews which other Yelp users can see if they think to look). Some business game the system by paying for positive review. Yes, some reviews are in fact pure fiction.

Therefore, as much as you depend on more and better online reviews, negative reviews can as well be a “BLESSING” to your small business, provided you get some, but not too much.

How do you get more positive review

The method is easy in concept but can be difficult in practice. You ask customers who are happy to provide you with positive review. If you have their email addresses, you ask them via email with a link to where they can review you.

You do this consistently. Over time, the number of positive reviews to your business will grow.

When you do get a bad review, respond. And respond without being harsh. Even if you know the customer is fully in the wrong, people reading the review and your response will not know. Write your response not for the person leaving the bad review, but for potential customers who may see it and your response as they research your business.

As a conclusion, you need to think about your online reviews and do not focus on positive reviews alone but also know what will be your response on a negative review.

Lean more here…

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