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How to Manage your Company’s Online Reviews
Do you may think online reviews are only important when it comes to tangible items (appliances, cars) or trades (electricians, exterminators). If so, think again. And consider the following data concerning the importance of online reviews:
90% of consumers say they read online reviews prior to contacting a business,
Almost 90% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and
Customers spend up to 30% more with companies that have excellent reviews
What’s Being Said About Your Business, or You?
Do you know the status of your company’s online reputation? If you don’t, you need to. Do an online search on your company and look for your reviews. If you find a negative one, don’t ignore it. Don’t write it off as simply somebody having a bad day or who have it out for your business. Even if that is the case, that review is not going away. Don’t ignore it.
First things first, always respond to negative reviews in a positive, highly professional manner. Be empathetic. Even if you don’t agree with them—and there’s a pretty good chance you won’t—it’s important to stay calm and courteous, and let both be reflected in your response. Negativity will only lend credibility to the negative review.
Don’t be shy—ask for Online Reviews
This may fall way outside your comfort zone, but, if it does, you need to get over it—ask clients to review you. The following are the most common sites for online reviews: Amazon, Yelp, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and The Better Business Bureau (BBB). Each industry will have review sites that are geared specifically for them. Even professions or industries you may think aren’t regularly reviewed, think again. For example, consider the legal profession, which may not seem like a profession that is heavily reviewed. However, if you’d lik to write e a review about an attorney, you’ve got several options, most notably Avvo, Lawyers.com, LawyerRating.com, or Martindale.com.
If you’re thinking others in your industry don’t ask for reviews, that maybe it’s beneath your profession, consider the aforementioned statistics. Asking for reviews and referrals is part of doing business in the 21st century.
Publicize Positive Reviews
Don’t assume positive reviews will magically fall into the right hands. Let people know your satisfied clients are willing to take the time to share their opinions about your products, services, expertise, and customer service excellence. Put your reviews on your website and link them to all the online profiles you maintain. Brag about them; you’ve earned it.
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