With all the marketing efforts that every business puts in, you know that reviews and ratings have a place. In fact, they may even be some of the most important first impressions your business has online. However, reviews can be a tricky subject. You might not know how to even approach them at first, how to ask for them, and inevitably, how to deal with negative reviews.
But first, it is important to ask: why do online reviews even matter?
Importance of Online Reviews
Simply put, online reviews are important because people pay attention to them. Customers trust one another to give honest and complete accounts of their experiences at companies.
But online reviews are also pertinent to your business’s SEO ranking. With more authenticated reviews, your business will list higher in search engine rankings. For businesses, it is an opportunity. Then again, it is one that can be daunting.
The best way to make sure that you have good online reviews is to be a good business. Prioritize customer service and make honest promises. If you have a customer who has had a particularly good experience at your business, encourage them to leave you a review.
How to Ask Your Customers for Online Reviews
You might feel uncomfortable asking your clients for online reviews. But the simple fact is that it is a part of business. So, much like discussing finances, it is a discomfort that you have to get used to. But, like most topics, there is a good way and a bad way to bring it up.
If you know that a customer has had a good experience, feel free to ask them directly for a review. You can do this in person or in an email if it feels more appropriate. You can also follow up with recent customers via email, asking them to talk about their experience on Google. It is best to reach out to them soon after they patronize your business when the experience is still fresh.
Whatever way you decide to talk to customers, there is one constant. You should always try to personalize your approach. Make it feel like a conversation tailored to them — not like a business hitting them up for an opportunity.
How to Address Negative Reviews
No matter how good your business is, you will get a negative review at one point or another. It happens to every business. You should do everything possible to use the best business practices. But you should also know what to do in the inevitable event that a customer is not satisfied.
One of the worst things that you can do is ignore it. It is easy to do this even inadvertently. Many businesses do not have employees dedicated to checking social media pages regularly, including Google. But it is important to address negative reviews as quickly as possible. For this reason, you should be active on your Google pages.
Every business will get a negative review at one point or another. It is a simple fact of business, and it is not the end of the world. Having a rating that is below five stars will not spell the end of your company.
It is also not as challenging as you might think. The best way to address a negative review is to reply to it. Address the problem, apologize for it, and ask the customer to get in contact so that you can make it up to them.
Other online reviewers will see the negative review. But more importantly, they will see a business doing its best to make its customers happy.