Customer reviews are the new “currency” online. According to two studies, 91% of people read reviews online, and they read 10 reviews before trusting a business. When your customers google your company, review websites like Yelp or other industry-specific websites often pop up. Do you know what your customers see?
All things being equal, the company with better reviews tends to get the business. After all, the positive reviews from others act as “social proof” that others have had a positive experience, and your potential client will trust that.
Because your online reputation is an asset to your business, it is absolutely mandatory that you control these profiles. So if you haven’t done it yet, you should claim the profiles immediately so that nobody else can. Can you imagine if one of your competitors managed to hijack your profile and started using it to hurt you?
Being consistent and proactivity wins in the review business
If your review count is low, a couple of bad reviews can tank your star rating. To prevent that, you need a mass of positive reviews to minimize the hit by a negative review. This process of mitigating the impact of negative reviews is called online reputation management. Please note that you only want genuine reviews by actual clients, so don’t fall prey to the spam emails that offer to write fake reviews – those can really hurt you.
An old adage goes “If you’re unhappy, tell us, if you’re happy, tell others.” But, unfortunately for business owners, it’s usually only the unhappy people with an axe to grind, who take the time to get on the soapbox and blast away.
Additionally, many business owners feel awkward asking for reviews. Plus doing it consistently is time consuming. Not to mention that people are busy, and usually won’t take the time to write reviews unless prompted. And prompted again. Sound familiar?
The key to success is automating the review request process.
A winning combination to online reviews is automating the request and reminder process, and addressing unhappy customers’ issues before they post a bad review publicly.
When people have had a bad experience, they usually just want to be heard, acknowledged, and their problem resolved. It behooves you to have this conversation offline, before it’s posted online.
We recommend setting up an automated email system that asks a customer to fill out an internal review form first. That’ll allow you to address customer complaints, plus good reviews become fodder for testimonials on your website (just make sure you get the customer’s permission to use their review).
Then, if the customer had a good experience, you can send a follow-up email to ask them to leave you a review publicly.
This approach checks all the boxes; It 1) automates the process so you don’t have to remember sending emails, 2) allows you to address issues before they become public, 3) gives you a steady supply of testimonials for the website and other marketing material, and lastly, 4) increases the review counts on your profiles.
Mukava has helped many clients to set up these systems, and we’d be happy to help you on your online reputation management journey. If you’d like to chat about your case, send us a message using the form below and we’ll get started!