In our constantly-Googling-Facebooking-Yelping world, practically every organization gets negative online reviews, regardless of whether it deserves them.
Case in point: Not even America’s most treasured lands, the National Parks, are exempt from one-star Yelp ratings. The Grand Canyon? “A really big hole in the ground,” reports Brad M. Yosemite? Don’t go, Bill G. advises: “I had to go to the bathroom, and it was gross.” Zion? Yeah, dramatic scenery and stuff, but the taco bar, Bob P. warns, is “incredibly boring.”
Even illogically bad reviews can affect the online reputation of your business, as customers increasingly rely on them as a trusted source of information. According to the search and SEO firm BrightLocal, 92 percent of consumers read online reviews, with 40 percent forming an opinion after reading three or fewer of them.
Check out these five pieces to learn more about why reviews should matter to your business and what you can do to manage them (besides offering a more interesting taco bar).
The Internet is like middle school: It’s hard to know what everyone’s saying behind your back. Keep tabs on mentions of your business with tools like Reputology, which alerts you to new activity on review sites, and Moz Local, which helps you claim and optimize directory listings for your business.
A customer who typically has a positive experience with your business decides to leave a review about the one time he didn’t. Meet the “The Desperate Outcrier,” one of four reviewer personalities identified by author and speaker Daniel Lemin.
If your mind only fills with angry and/or witty comebacks when reading negative reviews, step away from the keyboard.
Consider the calm advice of these 17 young entrepreneurs, whose recommendations include agreeing with the customer and having the CEO reach out directly.
To a potential customer, a business with no reviews can be equally concerning as one with bad reviews.
Here are eight ideas for encouraging customers to share their opinions, like embedding links to review sites in your emails and creating check-in offers that leave customers pleasantly surprised (just in time for their reviews).
To learn another reason why online reviews matter, Google “restaurants” in your city. In the first page of your results, you probably won’t get many websites for restaurants—only reviews for them.
Search Engine Watch explains how reviews are tied to search engine optimization.
Check out more posts from our blog about responding to customers and managing your online reputation: