Online Reviews: See the Opportunity

The game: Online reviews

The players: Yelp, Google+, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor…and many others

The game plan: Take advantage of online reviews by using them to attract potential customers

By now you’re hopefully aware of how much influence online reviews have on the success or failure of a business. As of last year, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Yeah, that’s a pretty big percentage.

Yes, online reviews are important!

There’s no more brushing the matter under the rug. Whether you like it or not, online review sites pop up right in front of consumers every time they search for your product or service. Google+ reviews show up even without being clicked on and companies’ Yelp pages typically rank higher than their actual sites! Consumers go to review sites specifically looking for star ratings, the total number of reviews given, and also basic information about the business. They then move on to looking at individual reviews to learn about other peoples’ experiences to find out what they can expect from a business. From there many people draw a conclusion on whether or not they should give that company their time and money.

Scared yet?

You don’t have to be because we’ll show you how to stay in the game.

To respond or not respond?

It’s not a question. A company needs to be actively responding to every review that it receives, good and bad. In case you didn’t know, a company can influence the decisions of prospective customers by how they respond to online reviews.

When responding to positive reviews simply give thanks. Let that person know that you appreciate their business and that they are a valued customer.

How to respond to negative reviews:

  • Take a deep breath. It’s important not to be defensive. Make sure you acknowledge in your response that the customer had a bad experience, even if you don’t agree. Many times people just need validation.
  • Show that it matters. Customers are always a priority, without them there would be no business. Let them know that they are valued customers and you take their concerns seriously.
  • Take it offline. Provide contact information and invite reviewers to contact you personally in order to discuss their concerns.
  • Resolve the issue. Along with validation, sometimes people just want an apology. On the other hand, there are people that just can’t be pleased. Find some way to ease the impact of the bad experience they had.

Play nice

Review sites aren’t going anywhere, whether we like it or not. They’re actually growing in popularity each day. Rather than despising these sites, use them to your advantage! If you use our tips to respond in an appropriate way, review pages for your company can serve as a useful tool for potential customers to find you!