Do You Know What People are Saying About Your Business Online?

Before making a decision, many shoppers will do an online search to browse review sites, your social media, and your online presence.

Over 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and over 80% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Positive reviews lead to 74% of consumers trusting a local business more.

Many businesses reply to negative reviews with their side of the story or maybe even a public apology. Positive reviews should get the same amount of attention to help them see how important they are to you.

Whether you receive a positive review or a negative review it should be replied to as soon as possible. To do so, you must have control over your review sites by claiming, owning or having administration permission granted. When someone takes the time to write a paragraph about their experience with your business, they should receive more than a quick like or a thumbs up from you. Let them know their review is appreciated. It is best to read the review more than once and really think about your reply before typing. Each review should be replied to individually and in a thoughtful, sincere way.

What reviews are not worthy of a reply?

Only the ones that can be removed.

When disputing a review a good rule of thumb is to not submit a lengthy story of who, what, where, when, and how. Stick to the why and keep it as simple as possible. An example would be, “Disgruntled past employee”.

Many review sites such as Yelp have rules about who can write a review. Current and past employees, the owner, and any associates, are not allowed to review your business.

Why would a review not be recommended?

Reviewers are screened using software which checks for quality, reliability and user activity. Regardless of if the review is good or bad, if the account they are using is new, without a profile or the user has been flagged for inappropriate behavior, there is a very good chance it will be disregarded, categorized under Not Recommended or Not Relevant. A review can be marked as fake if there are multiple originating from the same computer.

Most review sites cannot override their system software to recommend or not recommend a review.

How do you collect quality reviews?

Consider asking your customers if they have a Yelp, Houzz or other review site accounts before asking them to leave you a review. If their answer is, “Yes, I have a Yelp account”, your answer should be, “Great! I look forward to reading your review!”. If they don’t have a review site account, be sure to remind them to find you on Facebook. Facebook reviews are equally as important.

Your business needs reviews on as many platforms as possible. Having one hundred reviews on Facebook only helps if your prospective customers are active on Facebook.

Be sure to have options for everyone and create accounts on all the review sites that your business qualifies for. It doesn’t matter how shoppers find you as long as they do!

A relationship with a customer is even more important after the sale. Review sites and social platforms have gone a long way towards removing barriers between companies and their customers. Now, instead of calling, many people turn to these platforms to solve problems or find information.

Pay close attention to what is being said about your business and check your online presence daily. How fast you respond and what you say can make or break a future sale, a repeat customer or a referral.

Don’t forget to check the Better Business Bureau. You should know if someone has filed a complaint before the BBB does contacts you to offer to mediate the dispute.

Would you like more information about how we can help you manage your online reviews? Email us at social@docklinemagazine.com.

Do you have a question, comment or a suggestion topic for our next article? Message us at docklinemagazine.com/contact. We look forward to hearing from you!

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