Online reviews. Love it or hate it, these are necessary for your business. Almost everyone who wants to buy something online is always looking for online reviews before deciding or purchasing. And if you’re looking to get some decent sales or thinking about growing your company, then your first move should be to treat online reviews with utmost importance.
So what are online reviews? Online reviews are the reaction or opinion of your customers regarding your product or service. These usually come in blogs, video reactions, comments on your website, and others.
With huge eCommerce websites like Amazon or eBay, they take online reviews very seriously. This is why they have a significant space on their website to post online reviews for every product that their members are trying to sell.
So does that mean that companies that are not into online selling should not be mindful about online reviews? The answer is a big NO. Every company that offers vital services or products should ALWAYS emphasize every online review they find most, especially if the review happens to be negative!
Statistics show that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation made by a friend. Meanwhile, 54% of people will automatically visit a website that has plenty of good online reviews. These online reviews can come from your website or business listing sites, such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google my Business, and BBB.
When asked how much these online users use online reviews to find the right business, around 37% responded that they used the Internet or search engine to look for the right business or company monthly. In comparison, 5% revealed that they do not use the Internet to search for the company.
Do you still need convincing? Then get these following statistics established by BrightLocal, an SEO company that decided to create a survey among online users to establish the importance of online reviews for businesses.
The percentage may seem small, but it is already making an impact on your business.
It’s enough to drive people into your company if you have enough good reviews or drive people away from your business if your company is chock full of bad reviews online!
Seeing that we already have an idea of how important online reviews are, it’s now time to evaluate the actual truth about online reviews.
While there are a lot of online reviews that are honest-to-goodness true, some of them, though, are just made up. Concocted to push people into believing that a company is good or legitimate, these fake online reviews are part of a marketing scheme by unscrupulous companies who want nothing more but to prey on innocent online users for their benefit.
However, the worst kind is companies that use fake online reviews to destroy a legitimate company’s reputation. They may do it out of jealousy or competition, but it is a cold, hard fact that anyone (and I mean anyone) can easily do a bad online review to destroy a company’s reputation!
So how does one fight back from these companies (or individuals) who seek to ruin your company’s online reputation? The key here is by managing online reviews. Companies must MONITOR all relevant reviews that they may come across online. Whether it’s online reviews posted on your website or a review submitted to a third-party business listing website, always keep a close eye on them.
A good idea is to always check the following websites as it is where people actively give recommendations, reviews, and complaints about businesses that they’d come across. These websites are the following:
The websites above are the most common ones for almost all types of businesses. However, other business listing websites cater to different niches, like Cars.com for automobile sales companies and others. So check those niche-specific business listing websites too.
You can also do REVIEW OUTREACH to help your company with getting more positive reviews. Check and see the customers who enjoyed or are satisfied with your services or products.
Ask them to leave positive reviews on your website, as these can help convince other people that your business is good and legitimate.
Finally, you also need to create a RESPONSE system in your company. Your services may not be flawless or perfect in every way, but by responding to a customer’s questions and needs, you can make them feel that you are concerned about their experience with your products or services.
Remember, the faster a company can respond to reviews or feedback, the better it is for your company to acknowledge positive reviews. Likewise, the quicker your company can resolve any problems before it escalates into an even bigger problem.
When dealing with online reviews, it’s always a good idea to respond to every review posted on your website. This demonstrates your company’s willingness to engage and solve any issues mentioned.
Should your company ever get negative reviews, do not treat it at once as a threat that needs to be removed. Rather face the complainant properly and engage in a friendly, helpful tone. Be graceful and courteous; thank them for their honest feedback and ask how your company can serve its customers better.
When dealing with a very frustrated customer, you can initiate engagement through a phone call. Yes, a phone call from a company executive is a hundred times better in resolving issues with a disgruntled customer.
Of course, when dealing with customers, be very careful with what you say or do. Remember to keep a cool head. If you’re getting angry or frustrated with a customer who refuses to listen to a reasonable discussion, then you have every right to stop the discussion right away. Leave or schedule an appointment for the next discussion so that you can leave without saying words that may bounce back at you and your company negatively with an online review.
For positive reviews, also do the same. Be honest with your approach and continue to ask your customers how to make their whole experience with your products or services better.