How often do you check your company’s online reviews? Do you reach out to customers that post reviews of your business online? If you are late to the online review game, it’s time to pay attention.
Research shows that a bad review online can be extremely damaging to your business. Nearly two-thirds of the population has researched products or services online within the past three months, and 70% of consumers trust reviews from strangers online more than they trust information from manufacturers or from friends and family. A few bad reviews can turn potential customers away quickly.
One of the leading online review sites for local businesses is Yelp. Yelp provides a listing of businesses and allows customers to rate each business and to post reviews. Each business is assigned a rating from one star (poor) to five stars (excellent) based on the average customer review.
If you have not been active on Yelp, now is the time to get started. First, claim your business by navigating to biz.yelp.com. Once you have registered as the business owner, completely fill out the information for your place of business, including address, contact number, hours and any special announcements. This ensures that customers know the basics about your business and that the information is visible to the Yelp community.
Second, respond quickly to any negative reviews. Yelp provides the option to either post a public response or send a private email to the reviewer. Send an apology and a constructive response, such as offering a free product or service as an incentive to try the business again. Often the consumer will be so pleased by the prompt response that they will revise their review to note the high level of customer service.
Third, make special announcements and offers as much as possible. Yelp displays a special notice for businesses that offer special promotions, which incentivizes customers to click on the page. Examples of special promotions include 15% off for mentioning Yelp, 10% off for new customers or a link to a website with printable coupons. Be sure to change the promotions often to keep customers coming back for more.
Although Yelp is one of the most popular local review sites, there are many other online outlets for customers to post reviews. Be sure to frequently monitor online feedback and respond to consumer complaints. Just one negative comment online can drive away hundreds of other potential customers. Proper management of customer feedback is crucial to managing a business in today’s high-tech world.
If your busy with your business then look for Social Brand Reputation Management, this service will monitor your brand as well as other keywords and phrases and comes in Tiers 1-3 allowing you to customize the support you get, from basic notification to Public Relations support and responses.
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