Online reviews of your business are inevitable, but how you handle the good and the bad can make or break your reputation. With sites like Google displaying reviews in searches, Facebook aggregating them on your company page, and the myriad of review sites like Yelp ranking you against competitors, customers have plenty of opportunity to seek out product and service advice before they buy. While negative reviews can seem detrimental to small businesses, here are four reasons you should consider responding versus deleting:
- Customers Want to Hear from Customers
Online customer reviews are today’s “word-of-mouth” recommendations. Including testimonials on your website and enabling reviews elsewhere can help people feel more comfortable about making a purchase. A few “less than perfect” reviews here and there won’t hurt your brand. Now that fake reviews have become a concern, studies show consumers start to become suspicious of a company if it has only glowing praise.
- Reviews Lead to a Boost in SEO
The more sites you are active on, the greater your presence in search engine results. Potential customers will often seek out reviews before making a purchase, so enabling reviews on your site and optimizing for keyword searches like “review” or “rating” can help your website rank higher than other review websites.
- Reviews Provide Feedback
Though every business strives for positive customer experience, negative reviews can provide important insight into how to improve your products and services. While it may sting to hear criticism, respond quickly and positively to the feedback and take it back to your team to create an action plan to avoid similar experiences in the future.
- Show Off Your Customer Service
Negative reviews also give you a prime opportunity to display your high-quality customer service. Responding publicly to a customer in a polite and helpful manner may help “right the wrong.” Offer an incentive, like a free product or service, to win their business back. This will also allow other customers to see your customer service in action.
The first step in reputation management should always be keeping an eye on your online business reviews. At the USA TODAY NETWORK in Nashville, Tennessee, our digital advertising experts can help you monitor your reviews and find ways to enhance your online reputation. Contact us today for a free marketing consultation.