All small businesses, regardless of the type of business it is, should be aware of their online presence and take steps to protect their online reputation. One part of that process is being aware of online review sites that post customer feedback, reviews, and recommendations.
Once you know where your business is getting review traction online, it is time to be proactive about using these review sites to maximize your online presence. The tips below will get you started.
Monitor Review Sites Regularly
You can’t stay on top of customer reviews unless you have a consistent process for monitoring and reviewing feedback received online. Develop a list of websites where your customers tend to post their reviews and check back on a regular basis to see what’s being said.
In addition to online review sites, you should also monitor social media sites to track what is being said about your business. It may seem like a huge undertaking, but there are a number of tools that can help you streamline this process.
Encourage Happy Customers to Post Reviews
You can certainly leave it up to your customers to post reviews about your business on their own, but there is nothing wrong with giving them a little nudge. Next time a customer tells you how happy he or she is with your business, ask him or her to share their opinion on one of your favorite online review sites.
Respond To All Reviews… Even Negative Reviews
The first goal of using online review sites for your small business is getting customers to post their thoughts about your business on those sites. The second goal is opening up the lines of communication and creating a dialog with those customers.
If a customer leaves praise about your business, a thank you or a short personal note is a great way to encourage conversation and show your appreciation. If a customer posts something negative or complains about your products or customer service, you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate how in tune your business is with its customers. There are a number of ways to handle customer complaints and negative reviews — comment back, respectfully refute a negative claim, shift into customer service mode and take it offline, draft a formal response — but the key is to make sure each and every comment receives an official response from your business.
Collect and Use the Feedback
Once you have set up your process for tracking and managing online reviews of your business, it’s time to compile the results and look for common themes. Do a lot of customers state that they wish you sold a different type of product, or started offering a related service? Do your customers commonly say that your customer service is lacking? There is likely to be lessons learned and things you can implement in your business to make an immediate impact based on the feedback you receive.
As you get started using online review sites to promote your business, keep in mind the most important part of this process: consistency and having a strategy that guides your activity. This article on online reputation management provides more tips you can use and you create your plan.
- Leverage Online Reviews to Build your E-Commerce Brand
- How To Handle Bad Reviews On Your Business
- How PPC Reviews Impact Your Online Business
- How to Use Customer Reviews to Boost Online Sales
- How to Increase Sales on your Online Store
a WordPress rating system
a WordPress rating system