It is estimated that 90 percent of all customers look at online reviews prior to making a purchase. Strangely, due to search engine algorithms, in some instances even negative reviews can drive traffic and that can be good. But the last thing we want is our online traffic increasing in tandem with poor reviews. Every business needs to be effectively garnering positive reviews while monitoring all reviews.
There are several reasons having reviews online are beneficial:
- People tend to trust businesses that allow their evaluations to be posted online; whether those ratings are good or bad.
- When people leave reviews on social networking sites, it provides a business with free publicity.
- People pay attention to what other consumers say about a product; and if a review is bad, they will sometimes try to convince themselves why their experience will turn out differently.
- When customers leave feedback on Google+, the business rating on Google increases, so they move up in Google searches.
- Aggregate reviewing sites are increasingly popular.
Did You Know?
Amazon has been allowing customers to review and publicly post online reviews for more than 20 years.
Facebook allows people to leave ratings and reviews, and these reviews are commonly considered some of the more influential reviews available.
Twitter doesn’t have a place to leave reviews like Facebook does, but consumers may do a search about a company and scroll through customer reviews and look for comments: positive or negative for a particular business.
Monitoring Your Online Reputation
Businesses need to monitor what others are saying about them and react with appropriate business decisions. If a reviewer says a company has terrible communication, then the company should ensure they respond to concerns and questions. Here are a few handy tools to help you stay informed and give you the chance to respond:
If This Then That — This website allows you to type in “if this”, for example, if your business name is mentioned, “then that” which could be a message is sent to you. This can deliver actionable data to you in real time.
IceRocket — IceRocket is a tool that lets the user search blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other sites for specific terms, such as your business name, or sales representatives, or other things that might be mentioned in an online review.
Google My Business — You can ask customers to leave a review on Google My Business, then this website allows you to respond to the review. If the review is bad, you can take ownership and tell the customer you’ll try harder or offer a rebate the next time they shop with you. When they leave a good review you can thank the customer. Either way, Google believes customers like knowing that you’re paying attention, and that makes them leave more reviews and remain customers.
It is important to pay attention to what customers say about you online. You have a responsibility to monitor what others say, and if necessary, make adjustments. If this subject matters to you greatly, be sure to check out our podcast episode called Priscilla Plays the Rating Game with even more insight to the importance of third party reviews!