As a business owner in 2018, there’s an almost endless list of things you should be doing to ensure the success of your business both online and for your physical location. Online reputation management may currently be toward the bottom of your list, but we’re going to fill you in on why you should pay more attention to this simple action that could help improve the standing of your business and draw in more customers through your online profiles.
What is Online Review Management?
Online review management is the simple act of actively working to curate the reviews your business has on its online profiles. These profiles exist on websites such as Google, Yelp, ZocDocs, and Facebook, and they may not have been created by you at all. Instead, many of these websites scrape information from the web at large, such as your own website to put together profiles that their users can find and leave reviews on.
By claiming (or creating) profiles for your business, you’ll be able to then manage the reviews left on them and begin shaping the reputation of your business.
Why is Managing Online Reviews Important?
The most important thing to any business owner is how potential customers view your business before they make the decision of where their money should be spent.
When you are actively managing your online reviews, whether you’re doing this single-handedly or by using an online reputation management tool, you’ll be able to show customers that you care about their experience and feedback.
This means that you should be replying to each and every review and work toward righting any wrongs that a customer brings up in a negative review.
What You Should be Doing to Manage Your Online Reviews
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important things you can do is reply to reviews as they come in. By replying to each review, you can demonstrate to potential customers that you are an active participant in your customer’s experience and appreciate what they’re saying.
Additionally, by responding to a negative review with concern and politeness, you may be able to turn that review into a positive one. Invite the user to discuss the situation with you privately and apologize for the inconvenience. At the very least, potential customers who are reading the review will see that you tried rectifying the situation. In the best case scenario, the user will edit their review and change it to a positive one and you’ve earned another loyal customer!
Direct Customers to Leave Reviews on Specific Profiles
When you’re managing your online reviews, you’ll want to actively invite customers to leave reviews on your profiles. Make things easier for them during this step and tell them what profile you’d like the review left on. At first, you may want to target the most major sites, like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, before moving onto more industry-specific websites like Vitals or DealerRater.
This should not be a project with an expiration date, though. Make sure staff members are trained to constantly ask customers for their reviews and let them know that each and every opinion is appreciated! The outcome will be an online reputation that invites potential customers to do business with you.