Do you encourage customers to review your business and/or products?
Reviews are becoming more and more important for your online marketing. They can impact your SEO, boost your conversion rate – and seriously damage your business.
Even if you’re not in the leisure/tourism industry, you’ll have seen the many media stories about Trip Advisor and the impact poor reviews can have on small businesses. But many savvy businesses also use Trip Advisor to their advantage. The site often appears near the top of the Google rankings for terms like “B&B Sometown” and if the searcher clicks on that link, they’ll see the B&Bs with the best ratings first. The last couple of B&Bs I’ve stayed at actively encouraged guests to write reviews for them.
If you sell online it’s become a standard for ecommerce and buyers now expect to see reviews. I know from experience it can be scary letting customers add reviews to your website – what if they say something negative? But there are good reasons for encouraging them:
- positive reviews build buyer confidence and increase sales
- negative reviews let you know there are issues, which gives you the chance to do something about them.
It’s the same for testimonials. If you are selling a service, publishing comments from real, satisfied customers gives a massive boost to your credibility.
And if you have a Google+ Local listing (formerly Google Places) then there’s plenty of evidence that reviews affect your ranking within the local listings on the search results page.
Of course, the warm glow you get from a positive review may occasionally be countered by feelings of horror and indignation at a negative review. So what should you do if you receive one?
Firstly, resist the temptation to remove it asap.
Take a few moments to calm yourself and think about it. Is it justified – even just a little bit? What can you do to resolve things?
Then publish a reply. Acknowledge the issue e.g. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention…..” or “I’m so sorry our service didn’t meet our usual standards….”.
Then let them (and other readers) know what you are doing about it. “I’m emailing you to find out more details about what went wrong so we can put it right….” or “I’m organising a replacement to be sent today….”
If you handle it well, you can turn round the unhappy customer and give new customers confidence that you care about your products and service.