Customer Reviews are the single most effective marketing you can do for your company.
Reviews can be scary, but the fact of the matter is that reviews are highly visible online, and bad reviews can tank your lead generation efforts.
You probably are aware of the importance of maintaining a good reputation for your business. But did you know that it is becoming increasingly more important for small businesses to have an active online reputation management program?
In 2015, 92% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews.
Additionally, the overwhelming majority of them trust the online reviews as much as they trust friends and family recommendations. More and more, customers are “asking” for referrals by reading online reviews. In order to improve your search ranking, you need to spread out high quality reviews across important online reviews sites, and to monitor those for customer satisfaction. These reviews need to be authentic and from real people.
Here's the bottom line...
One Bad Review Can Tank Your Sales
Maintaining a good online reputation is critical for your business. One bad review can negatively impact your business-- it’s often enough to keep them from becoming customers. The damage canbe mitigated, but you need to be aware that the bad review was posted in the first place.
Your business needs to invest in a smart, efficient online reputation management approach that will not only make the most of your reputation, but that will also enhance your rankings and visibility in the search engines.
Good Reviews Are Not as Common
Statistics show that customers are more likely to post a bad review than a good one. Happy customers usually don’t think about sharing their positive experience, and if they do, they don’t take the time to do so. The trick is to make it easier for customers to write reviews.
A Good Reputation Management Campaign Can Help!
It requires research and the right tools to determine which sites allow customers to write reviews, and which ones produce the best results for reputation management. Sites like Trip Advisor, Health Grades, Yelp, Zillow, and Avvo are some that come to mind, but many more are popping up all the time. Identifying andprioritizing where customers should write their reviews about a business requires careful strategy and planning.
Could a Better Reputation Management Campaign Improve Your Local Business Marketing Results?
You may be nervous about launching a reputation management program for fear of negative reviews. Even if you know you are delivering great products and services, it can still cause anxiety to solicit reviews from customers. Online reputation is as important, if not more important, than your business’ reputation in the community. With all the online local business review sites, you can’t afford to leave your online reputation to chance.
Where should you start?
- Start by running an online search of your business. You can include the name and some keywords related to your business. The search results can say a lot, if you even come up in the results at all!
- Also, if your business is showing up on ratings sites like Google maps, Angie’s List, Facebook, Yelp, Houzz, Adwords, check out the ratings there. If there are poor ratings for your business, that can negatively impact your online reputation, and as a result, affect your business and sales.
Now think about customers who search for your business
or the services and products you offer...
Put yourself in your prospective customers’ shoes when they search online for your business name or keywords associated with your business. If they don’t find you at all, they almost certainly won’t give you their business. If they find your business, but with bad reviews, the likelihood of them using you is probably very low.
So how do you control your online reputation?
You can manage the perception that prospective customers get of your business by having a complete and effective reputation marketing strategy for your company. You can maximize the effect of the positive reviews and minimize or mitigate the more negative ones. Getting great reviews and putting them to good use leverages your good reputation and allows prospects to get to know, like and trust you—and become happy customers themselves.