When it comes to online reviews, those can be a bit tricky depending on where it is. For example, Google is quite a pain when it comes to disputing any reviews.
The best bet is to start building them to push the bad ones down and responding to the negative ones so that future customers see that you are active and responsive.
Believe it or not, a customer doesn’t mind a negative review much when the company responds in a positive way and tries to resolve.
But, we have a few suggestions on how to improve your online review reputation.
How To Improve Online Review Reputation:
1. Start Building Reviews:
You can offer customers to leave a review by asking for them:
- In person
- Providing an online form (review on website)
- Asking via email (providing a link to either 3rd party sites or your own)
I would highly suggest offering your current (very pleased) customers a way to write an online review for you other than on your website, such as Google or Yelp.
People often research and value those 3rd party review sites more than on a business’s website. Customers will also be 90% more likely to use a local business with 4 Star Rating.
You can always create a “Reviews” page on your website and copy/paste reviews from other places like Google to showcase them.
2. One-Off Reviews:
To help build your own reviews and help to push down the negative or old/ or bad reviews, you can share your positive reviews on Google, Angie’s List, Yelp, Home Advisor, Facebook, that you’ve received elsewhere. There are places you can purchase positive reviews for a cost between $25-$150 (based on business factors). But, buyer beware. Google will penalize you by either blacklisting your site, flagging your pages and not showing your search page results at all.
3. Reputation Management:
This is something that can be performed internally or externally. You can have your own staff (marketing personnel or customer service) manage your online reputation. The reputation management would consist of monitoring and managing all reviews, mentions, and comments that relate to your brand specifically.
This is a service through Start Small Media that can be can be added to a current monthly service where we watch and manage online reviews monthly for online review sites like the ones listed above. This service is regularly $199/month for small to average sized businesses (based on business size, average monthly reviews and number of review sites needed to manage)
Ask us about getting 90% off that at $19.99. This would only be for 3 months before we would need to reevaluate your status and maybe we can work on getting you more reviews on a consistent basis in the meantime? That’s up to you.
So, first things first – respond to the negative review that is on Google in a positive way, offering any help or resolution.
An example is: “I’m so sorry to hear about your bad experience with us. That was truly not our intention. We really appreciate your feedback and hope you give us a chance to make it right! Please be sure we will reach out to try and make amends and offer a free sit down….”
“We at City Painting try to go to great lengths to provide the highest level quality and customer service, so we take your comment very seriously. Please allow us to discuss this matter further and offer a free sit down and review for a proper painting – and even have a free lunch for you and your wife. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen going forward and look forward to the opportunity to make this right.”
Yelp Online Review Guidelines
Yelp is pretty strict when it comes to what to post and how they want to see reviews. They have strict guidelines on this so be sure to follow along so that you don’t get your account flagged negatively for any reason.
Here are some tips to avoid hurting your Yelp rating:
- Don’t ask customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.
- Don’t ask your staff to compete to collect reviews.
- Don’t run surveys that ask for reviews from customers reporting positive experiences.
- Don’t ever offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews — it will turn off savvy consumers, and may also be illegal. Yelp has a Consumer Alerts program to let people know about businesses that engage in this sort of activity. For the same reason, you also shouldn’t offer incentives for users to remove reviews.