We offer professional online reputation management services in Australia
Do you know what your online reputation is? By that, we do not mean you as an individual, but the reputation of your business. If you do not, then you could be missing a massive opportunity to increase the number of visitors to your website or place of business and the number of sales you make.
You might be asking, How does my online reputation make a difference when you are an offline business? However, if you expect to receive any customers from the online marketing that you do, including SEO, the reputation of your business will play a huge role.
Modern Online Shopping Habits
Just as the internet has changed the way in which people spend their money with regards to purchasing products and services online, the way in which people use the internet has evolved too.
That might seem like a strange statement given that the internet is a relatively new phenomenon, but although it has really only been a significant influence on our lives for 30 years or so, it has changed in lots of ways in that time
What is also changing are people’s attitudes to online businesses and the significance that individuals place upon specific factors relating to that business. For example, a survey showed that 92% of internet users read online reviews for local businesses. That percentage increases to 97% within the 18- to 34-year-old group.
Just think about the huge significance of that figure. Those 18- to 34-year-old internet users are not only your potential customers today, but moving forward, they are going to be the core age group of consumers in the next few years.
If all but 3% of them are already reading online reviews before making a buying decision, that surely indicates that unless you have positive reviews, they will not be spending their money on your business but on those that do.
Managing Your Online Reviews
Managing the reviews that you are already receiving or have received should be an integral part of your business. You first want to research which directories and websites your reviews appear. Primary among them will be Google as that is the most likely first destination for anyone searching within your niche. Other sites include Bing, Yelp, and Yahoo.
Once you have gathered that information, you now need to undertake a task that has the potential to potentially eliminate any damage that a one-star review can do to your business, and can also magnify the benefits of five-star reviews. That task is responding to the reviews that you receive, and that includes both the good reviews and the bad reviews.
If you look around the internet you will see that the vast majority of businesses do not even bother responding, or if they do it is to try and make some excuse with regards to a bad review.
Even worse we often see business owners challenge the person leaving a bad review, and in the worst cases, calling them a liar. What a horrible impression that is going to give the 90+% of people reading those reviews.
You will also notice that the reviews that get the most comments from other people tend to be the bad ones. The comments tend to be those thanking the reviewer for warning them about the business. Again, if you are not managing this, the reputation you have diminishes, not only from the review, but by the lack of response.
How To Respond To Good Reviews
When you receive a five-star review please do not do what the vast majority of businesses do which is to either ignore it or to simply copy and paste the same two-line response which goes along the lines of “Thanks for your review. We really appreciate it”.
It is better than nothing, but only just. If that is the response you give every time, the signal it sends is that you do not really care, and that the appreciation is just lip service.
Instead, you should respond to each positive review individually. Obviously, thank them, but elaborate on how it boosts the morale of your staff and helps them strive to make every customer as happy as they were.
For those who do leave a positive review, you should invite them to return, and say you would be happy to welcome them personally, and maybe give them a discount coupon, or some other special offer.
How To Respond To Bad Reviews
No business wants a bad review but they can happen, and it is how you respond to them that is going to determine whether they knock your reputation down, or, contrary to what you might think, boost your reputation.
Never be defensive, and always thank the person leaving the bad review for bringing their issue to your attention. Explain you want to make things better and invite them to call or even meet with you, so that you can better understand what happened.
You would be amazed at how many one-star reviews get changed to five-star ones, simply because the owner took the time and effort to understand the issues involved.
Better still, think of the impression you make when those who see the bad review, see you reaching out, and wanting to fix the problems. That act alone can boost your business reputation enormously.