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Importance of Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Online reviews are something a lot of business owners struggle with. What is the best way to build online reviews, while mitigating any negative reviews that might be received?  Many business owners know they need to get more online reviews but they aren’t sure how to put a review campaign together, or how to incentivize customers to leave a review.

Interestingly enough, online reviews have become a huge driver of business.  Just a couple of interesting statistics –

  • According to G2, 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy a product or service after they read a positive review online.
  • Another interesting statistic from Invesp – Customers are more apt to spend 31% more when they are purchasing from a company with excellent reviews.
  • Additionally, online reviews influence the purchase decisions for 93% of consumers.

How to Make Your Reviews Seen

Maybe you have positive reviews on your website or a smaller review platform, but how can you make those reviews searchable online? Google is one of the first places you should start. As the most popular search engine, it’s typically the first place people go when they are looking for more information on a business. Because of this, it’s vitally important to have online reviews posted on Google continuously, this also helps your SEO efforts as it sends a strong signal to search engines communicating trustworthiness and authority. As you begin increasing your Google reviews, it is also a good idea to get a free “Google My Business” listing, your reviews will show up along with your location, hours, posts and phone number whenever someone looks up your business online.

Facebook is the next best place to build up your reviews. As the 2nd most popular search engine, it is a regular go-to for curious prospective customers as they search your business and check out your company page. Keep in mind, there aren’t many people who don’t have a Facebook account and consumers typically research a business before they decide to become a customer and positive reviews help with the decision making process. Be sure you have a Facebook page and that you allow your customers to leave reviews.

Another option is having some of your customers either leave written reviews or a video review on your website. While this option is great for your website, the impact of these reviews is best felt when they are easily accessible on a major review platform.

What If Someone Leaves a Negative Review?

If you have a business, there’s no doubt you will get a negative review at some point. No business is perfect, and there may still be a day when a customer is in a bad mood and something doesn’t measure up to their expectations.  You’re bound to not meet someone’s needs. Unfortunately, there are also people out there who complain just to complain – even if your company didn’t do anything wrong – 86% of people tend to hesitate before clicking that “buy now” button, so it’s important to know how to deal with negative reviews. Here’s what to do:

  • Respond immediately. If the person left their name, look up their information in your system and reach out. You should also respond to the review on Facebook or Google so potential customers know how you deal with negative feedback.
  • Admit when you’re wrong. Either you or the customer can be wrong at any time. Always own up to your mistakes.
  • Leave a response like a person, leave the corporation vibe behind. People like a personal connection.
  • Be sure to ask loyal customers to leave their experience as an honest review
  • Always correct inaccuracies. When you have a business online, you’re going to be dealing with people leaving random reviews. If you have a customer base and can prove they never ordered from you, try to get it removed.

How Online Reviews Reflect Your Reputation Management

As a business in today’s digital economy, your online reputation is important to protect. Having negative reviews can impact your reputation and your bottom line. If someone has a bad experience with a business, they are very quick to share their experience online.

That’s the bad news. The good news is when people have such a positive experience where they loved their service or product, they will share that across social media (which will boost your reputation). Always work hard to give positive experiences to your customers, and implement a review campaign to keep your positive reviews coming in.

How to Enhance Reputation Management

Working on your reputation management is just as important as other marketing channels in your business. Keep the following ways in mind to boost your reputation:

  • Start working on a blog. It builds trust with your readers.
  • Invest in tools that monitor your reputation.
  • Ask your customers to upload their favourite photo with one of the products they purchased.
  • Enhance your presence online so you have multiple places where people leave reviews.
  • Work with a marketing company that offers reputation management as a service and implement an ongoing review campaign.

Working on your reputation management through online reviews can boost your credibility. Strive to win customers over with an exceptional experience, incorporate a review campaign into your marketing strategy and watch your reputation rise.

For more information on how Stone Marketing Strategy can help you with your online review management, contact us today!

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