Customers don’t just walk into a business, blind, anymore. Today’s consumers - they do their homework. In fact, about 85% of new customers read an online review or scan online review sites before ever actually stepping foot into a physical location.
Now more than ever before, an online review acts as the bridge connecting new customers with local businesses. Get your small business forming bridges of its very own sooner than later.
Step 1: Let’s take a look at which online review sites are best for small business listed
Step 2: Let’s discuss how to manage online reviews once they start pouring in - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Which Online Review Sites Fit Your Small Business
There are a lot out there, but don’t be fooled into thinking all are created equal. The two most important online review sites to ensure your small business is listed on are:
These two online review sites are by far the most popular online listings, working to get your small business and your online reviews in front of the largest possible audience of potential customers.
Other secondary online review sites your small business should consider using are - Citysearch, Foursquare, and Angie’s List.
Best Tips for Generating a Positive Online Review
Positive reviews - every small business wants them, but not every small business knows the best ways to actually get them. The truth is that many customers might not feel compelled to give your business a positive review without a little nudge. If you're looking to procure more positive online reviews try…
1. Asking your customers to provide a review during the checkout. You can print a friendly reminder on the receipt or provide a separate card with the appropriate information.
2. Emailing customers after their visit and asking them to review their service and experience.
3. Saving emails and letters with positive comments and asking for permission to publish them as testimonials on your website.
Don’t forget to say thank you! Remember that your customers are doing you a favor by taking the time to provide a review.
Dealing with a Negative Online Review
Something equally important to generating positive reviews is knowing how to handle any negative ones. When dealing with negative online reviews always remember…
1. If it’s a very negative review, reach out offline by email or call the customer directly, finding some kind of solution.
2. Once the issue is resolved, ask the reviewer to remove or update their original review to reflect the positive outcome with your business. Be sure to thank them if they do it.
3. If the issue can’t be fully resolved, try posting a brief summary of all the steps you took to fix the situation so other readers can see that you made an earnest effort to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
If simply talking to the customer does not work and you are still adamant about making things right consider extending an invitation to return by offering a complimentary or discounted service – but make sure to do this offline. You don’t want to create an environment where people complain just to receive a free service
Check out how Frederick works to help your small business generate and manage your own online reviews!