It’s undeniable that customer reviews help other customers. As a result, 92% of customers read online reviews, and 68% trust a local business more if it has positive reviews.
Customers value customer reviews because they consider genuine shared experiences from their peers more trustworthy than biased information provided by the business itself. Since customers find reviews important, search engines do too. The goal of an online search is to yield accurate, easily accessible information. This user generated content will sprinkle your business pages with relevant keywords, scooting it up in search rankings.
Search engines aim to connect customers with relevant information as quickly as possible. Each subsequent search becomes more specific as the customer grows increasingly informed–by the time customers come across online reviews, they already know what product or service they want. They just need to find the best business to fulfill their need.
Where do customer reviews show up in the customer journey?
As if snagging a spot on page 1 wasn’t challenging enough, now that mobile searches exceed desktop worldwide, page 1 has downsized. The top results in mobile queries are those with the highest ratings from the most reviews. Customers want immediate results, and are unlikely to scroll too far down on their phones when seeking on-the-go solutions.
Customer reviews also peek through in rich snippets. If coded correctly, search engines will display star ratings beneath your business that catch attention amidst long lists of organic search results, increasing click-through rates.
Next, on Google Maps, high ratings can be more enticing than local proximity; customers will often go the extra mile–literally–for a business ranked above its competitors. They’re paying for the experience, after all.
How can customer reviews drive a strong online reputation?
The more sites you have reviews on, the better, as an array of sources proves relevance and authenticity to search engines. With all these testimonials posted in harmony across the web, customers help explain to both each other and Google what your company is. Search engines also prioritize fresh, unique content, and new customer reviews keep company pages updated with zero maintenance.
Customer reviews also lower bounce rates. Since customers trust a customer review more than company posts, they will likely spend more time on review pages actually reading content rather than skimming for facts in formal business articles. Further, reviews will prompt readers to explore website to learn more about products and services mentioned by the reviewer. Longer time periods spent on your site with lower bounce rates leads to higher search engine rankings.
The easiest way to generate a steady flow of customer reviews is to automate the review collection process. Next, as you start collecting reviews, prompt customers to share their feedback to top review sites. Customer feedback is the most cost-effective form of advertising. A positive testimonial is more convincing than even the catchiest tagline. Not sure which sites your customers care about most? Look up “[your industry] + reviews” to find out where most customers are posting and reading reviews.
A brand identity fueled by the voice of the customer is both powerful and sustainable. Amp up review management efforts, launch to the top of search results, and watch as your positive business reputation promotes itself.
With G4H Consulting, you will be able to effectively handle these tasks and see the benefits of reputation management for yourself with the help of Review Lead software. To learn more, give us a call at (585) 755-0366, or schedule your review management consultation on our website.
If you’re just getting your business off the ground or you are only beginning to dive into digital marketing for an established business, then you may feel overwhelmed by the world of digital marketing and unsure of where to even start. However, digital marketing doesn’t have to be a foreign concept for your business for long. With this guide to the basics, you can get a digital campaign moving and work to keep a strong online presence for your business for years to come.
Building Your Digital Presence
You need a solid foundation for your digital presence, which begins with an optimized website, the framework of your company blog, and social media accounts. You’ll also need to manage your web presence on sites you don’t control, like local directories and review sites.
Maintaining Your Marketing Materials
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they can set and forget their digital marketing. While it does take a stronger effort to initially get your web presence established, you still need to regularly post content and interact with customers to keep your search engine ranking high and ensure a positive reputation. Increasingly, it is becoming more important to have an active presence online so that customers begin to associate a specific personality with your brand and have avenues for reaching or reviewing your company.
Managing Your Online Interactions
As you build a stronger web presence, you might see that more customers are responding by posting reviews of your business. Reviews are important to digital marketing, and they are another common pain point for businesses unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the digital landscape. However, with the right professional marketing services, it’s possible to guide the narrative of customer reviews by funneling them through customer support channels and responding kindly to any negative reviews that do find their way onto third party review sites.
Now that you know some of the basics, it’s time to formulate a detailed marketing plan for your business. G4H Consulting can help you do just that with comprehensive solutions, including web design, social media marketing, local optimization, content creation, and review management. To learn more, visit us online or call (585) 733-0366.
The reputation of your business is critical to your bottom line, because customers are more likely to choose your company if previous clients have positive things to say about their experiences. More and more, businesses’ reputations are shaped by online reviews, which represent a key decision point for potential clients. Businesses with better ratings online tend to see more customers come through the door, but how do you gain control over what people are saying about your business? Obviously, you should provide exceptional customer service you can stand behind, but everyone has off days or miscommunications that could result in negative reviews that reduce your overall rating. That’s why reputation management is important. It helps you control the narrative when it comes to your online reputation, so you can grow and thrive through constructive customer feedback.
Monitoring What People Are Saying About Your Business
The first step in managing your reputation is knowing where you stand. You should have an active monitoring system for new reviews on major channels like Google and Yelp, so you can address any problems customers may have within a timely fashion.
Create Opportunities to Curb Negative Reviews
Negative reviews can be avoided when customers are given opportunities to provide direct feedback through your website, especially when this is followed up with solutions to correct the initial problem. When customers problems are solved more efficiently, negative reviews will go down and more positive ones may be created in the process.
Make Positive Reviews Work Harder for You
Once you work to encourage customers to spread the good word about your business, you can make reviews work harder by posting them to social channels and your website.
With G4H Consulting, you will be able to effectively handle these tasks and see the benefits of reputation management for yourself with the help of ReviewLead software. To learn more, give us a call at (585) 755-0366, or schedule your review management consultation on our website.
Negative feedback is an inevitable result of a social media presence. However, the way in which your business handles negative feedback can affect your online image in a positive way. Successful management of your social media accounts means staying up to date on your online reviews to handle negative feedback quickly and appropriately.
Take Feedback Seriously
Although you may want to ignore negative feedback, the key to handling negative comments properly is to always take them seriously. Regardless of the comment or complaint, it’s important to address it publicly to show your dedication to your clients and their needs. You should also aim to address negative feedback quickly, as leaving comments unanswered can also give the impression that you do not care about rectifying negative client experiences.
Identify the Issue
Before replying to negative feedback, it’s important to identify its cause. Determining whether the error is a business mistake, a misunderstanding, or a problem with the client’s expectations can help you develop a smart and positive plan to address it. Regardless of the type of issue and its cause, it’s also best not to act or sound defensive—always show professionalism and respect for your client’s viewpoint, even if the mistake is not actually an error on your part.
Once you’ve identified the issue behind the negative feedback, it’s important to focus on a resolution. Offering to exchange a defective product for a new one or repeat a service that was not satisfactory is common; you may also wish to offer discounts on future purchases or other services. If you cannot reach a resolution, offering a refund may be the best way to resolve the situation.
Reputation management should be an integral part of maintaining a positive online image for your business. If you’d like to explore how G4H Consulting can help you maintain your online reputation, call us today at (585) 755-0366. You can find even more tips on building the right online reputation for your business on our blog.
Online reviews are a simple way for clients and customers to make their opinions about your business and services heard. Because online reviews are so accessible across multiple sites and services, they can have a significant impact on your online reputation. Regardless of whether your reviews are positive or negative, it’s imperative to read them to determine what you’re doing right—and how you can improve—to show your dedication to your consumers’ experience and satisfaction.
Recognize Positive Achievements
Although most businesses are highly-focused on the impact of negative reviews, it’s important to keep in mind that positive reinforcement is also a valuable tool. Positive online reviews can be a big morale boost for you and your employees, helping you to pinpoint the actions you’re taking that your customers like. Paying attention to the aspects of your products or services that your consumers find most attractive will help you tailor your business plan to focus more heavily on these aspects as you move forward.
Engage with Unsatisfied Customers
One of the major benefits of reading your online reviews is the chance to recognize negative experiences and take steps to correct them. If you come across a negative review that accurately reflects an unsatisfied customer, it’s important to take the right actions to address the situation. Rather than placing blame, contact the customer and ask how you can improve their situation or ensure their experience is more positive next time. Not only will you gain a single additional satisfied customer, but you’ll show anyone else who views the exchange that you take your customers’ experiences seriously and will make an effort to improve upon the aspects of your business that your customers don’t yet find satisfactory.
Do you need help managing your business’ online reputation? G4H Consulting is pleased to offer ReviewLead, social media marketing, and much more to help your business succeed in today’s web-savvy world. Please stop by our website to explore our full range of online services and solutions, or call us at (585) 755-0366 to discuss your needs.
So I was planning to write an email about how much I hate most corporate social media accounts. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like there was something the needed to be addressed first.
Right now, there are a lot of good marketers out there making really bad decisions when it comes to social media marketing.
People are creating massive amounts of FOMO in themselves and being dumb about where they’re investing their time, money and energy.
The recipe for disaster goes something like this:
Look, I just googled “should I be on pinterest”:
There are approximately 17 million pages on Google with an opinion on why you’re missing out if you’re not on Pinterest (a channel that didn’t exist before 2010).
Think about this. I mean really, think about this.
The writers of these articles don’t have bad intentions. But their metric when writing these articles isn’t “how many businesses I can help grow?”. Their metric when writing these articles is “how many people are paying attention to what I’m saying?”.
That’s a very important distinction.
Most of the information you find on the web is meant to make you feel that everything is important, due yesterday, and that you’re missing out.
This has led many marketers to try new social channels without a clear strategy, fail because they don’t know what they’re doing, and then lose faith in social media as an effective business tool.
Again, I’m super guilty of this myself.
The truth is that social media can be very powerful—if you know what you’re doing.
Here are some answers to common questions about social media:
You should know what your customers think about your products and services, so you can tell what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. By checking out review sites like Yelp, you can see what people are saying about your business. Keep reading and find out if you should respond to reviews on Yelp.
Customer service needs to be a top priority if you want to succeed as a business, and you need feedback to make yours the best it can be. A good way to find out what people have to say about your business is to look up your company on Yelp. Review sites give you a chance to get open and honest feedback from your customers and clients after they’ve experienced your service. Since customer service has moved online over the years, it can be helpful to respond to reviews that attempt to reach out to your team with specific questions.
Show Customers You Care
By responding to your feedback, you show customers, fans, and potential clients that you care about the quality of the work you perform. It’s easy to ignore your reviews and continue to run things the way you think works, but the best way to improve is to listen to what your customers have to say. Be polite and respectful in your responses and maintain your professional voice.
Know What Not to Take to Heart
Not every Yelp review is worth responding to. You’re bound to come across people who leave unreasonable comments, whether they had one bad experience, or they just happened to be in a bad mood and had unreasonable expectations, and some of these comments might not be worth responding to.
At G4H Consulting, we can help you manage your online reputation. We handle web design, social media management, and search engine optimization. Give us a call at (585) 755-0366 or look at our website to see what you can expect from us.
Online reviews can make or break a business, and I’m not just talking about the ones left by customers. Although it’s a great idea for companies to respond to every online review they get (good or bad), a company can make a bad situation way, way worse by responding to a review in a disrespectful, defensive, or flat out insulting way. Here are some examples of some of the most disastrous ways that business owners have ever responded to bad online reviews.
Thanksgiving: A Day For Togetherness.
When you spend 200 dollars on a meal, you expect it to be prepared to your specifications. If it isn’t to your liking, you certainly don’t expect a condescending and vulgar response from the restaurant owner when you complain. Granted, the customer was pretty rough on the restaurant, but there’s no excuse for this rant!
The Radiator Doctor Doesn’t Stand For Internet Tough Guys!
The Radiator Doctor may sound like an obscure 80’s hard rock band, but it’s actually an auto repair shop in California. Or at least, it used to be: it is now closed, and bad customer service and macho responses to customer complaints like this one likely had a hand in its demise:
Rock on, Radiator Doctor!
Thanks For Your Comment! (But Generic Answers and Responses Help Nobody)
Is there anything more infuriating than getting a canned, unhelpful response to your problem from a corporate communication channel? Unfortunately for frustrated travellers, airlines are some of the worst when it comes to this. Watch as American Airlines tweets the same absurdly confident canned response over and over: even in response to a complaint.
And for a business that operates 24/7, why keep your Twitter feed “open” for only EIGHT HOURS a day? Passengers, be sure that you only allow the airline to lose your baggage during their predetermined “business hours”. Thank you!
Fining People For Leaving Bad Reviews? Oh Union Street Guest House, You So Crazy!
Dissuading people from leaving bad reviews is tempting, but threatening to fine them? The Union Street Guest House in New York deciding to stick some fine print in their check in documents that threatened to stick their guests with a 500 dollar fine if they left a negative review! Not surprisingly, there was backlash, and they currently have a 1.5 rating on Yelp because of it and their other dishonest practices.
Say It To The Chef’s Face, You Big Sissy!
Not every diner is going to like what you serve them. What a wonderful job being a chef would be if they did, right? When James Isherwood commented on one unsavory element of an otherwise enjoyable meal, the extremely thin-skinned chef went on a rampage:
Incredibly, two other chefs later joined in the attack on James Isherwood, resulting in him eventually deleting his Twitter account. This leads me to ask: are all chefs this sensitive to criticism, or is this an isolated case?
Nestle: All The Social Media Smarts of a Jar of Palm Oil, With None of the Smoothness
Greenpeace activists had a beef with Nestle over their use of palm oil that was harvested from deforested areas. So many people were complaining on their Facebook page that they banned anyone that had an altered Nestle logo as their profile picture. However, Nestle decided to go one step further by insulting the commenters, as you can see below. Actually, a jar of palm oil might have done a better job than Nestle’s (likely former) social media manager, because doing nothing at all is better than doing this:
Oh Yeah, and Don’t Track Down the Person Who Left the Review and Attack Them at Home!
You’d think this would be a given, but I guess it isn’t! The owner of a now-closed bookstore in San Francisco got so mad at this fairly benign review that she wrote him harassing emails, tracked the guy down, barged into his home and then physically assaulted him. She was cited for battery and placed in psychiatric holding, proving that sometimes that legal system gets it right.
In the words of Bill & Ted: WHOA!
I AM WONDER WOMAN, BRING IT ON!
Amy’s Baking Company is one of the few restaurants that Gordon Ramsey ever gave up on during an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. After reading some of the things the bistro has said when responding to customer complaints, it’s easy to see why! Caps lock may not be cruise control for cool, but it’s definitely cruise control for internet mockery: the insane rant backfired on them so bad, they later claimed their account was hacked. (It wasn’t.) Let’s follow the treacherous tracks of the “crazy train.”
It goes from sanctimonious:
To downright delusional:
I mean, parents of a HUMAN kid?! As we all know, Wonder Woman was molded from clay and brought to life by a goddess. That doesn’t sound human to me, Amy’s Baking Company! (And if the current kids they mention having aren’t human, what in the world are they?!
But all good things have to come to an end, so after it was all over, they claimed the rant was all someone else’s fault. Shocking, no?
Thanks for the memories, Amy’s Baking Company! Unfortunately for you and all the other companies on this list, the internet is forever, so the next time your company faces a bad review, show professionalism and discretion when you respond. Even if the customer is out of line or even downright insulting, be the bigger person: because very often, the customer is always right in the eyes of the internet. Keep in mind that your business may actually end up benefitting from the bad review once people see how professional you were in the face of adversity!
Find out more about G4H Consulting’s ReviewLead, a program for local marketing and reputation management, and find out ways to avoid the same mistakes!
Realistically, everyone will get a less than pleasant review every now and then. Unfortunately, there’s just no way around it. When you do get a negative review, make it a learning experience. Rather than getting fired up and attacking the reviewer, take the opportunity to think about what you can change to make your business more accommodating or efficient. Talk to your customers without attacking them, and then decide what changes you should implement. Here’s a look at some of the right and wrong ways to handle negative reviews.
RIGHT: Follow Up with Customers
You’ve got a lot on your plate when you run your own business, but you should always be thinking about customer service and response. You need to check up on your reviews, so you know what people are saying about your company. If you come across a negative review for your products or services, you can find out why this happened by reaching out to the person who left it. Reaching out like this will help you find out how you can improve your business as well as get to the bottom of what the problem was in the first place.
WRONG: Publicly Attack Reviewers
Although it can help to respond to negative reviews on a public forum, never do so in an antagonistic way. Instead, try to find out what the nature of the problem is and offer a solution that changes the reviewer’s mind.
RIGHT: Make Changes to Your Company
The point of reading your own reviews is to find out what your company is doing right and what you could be doing better. When you notice a few different reviews that give you the same kind of advice, do your best to implement the changes so you can satisfy your customers.
If you get a negative review or two, take some time to reorganize and decide how to come back stronger than ever. The team at G4H Consulting can help you with web design, email marketing, and Facebook advertising, and you can look through our website or call us at (585) 755-0366 for more information.