Seasons Change and Calendar Year Turns from 2019 and 2020 but these 6 Do’s and Don’ts of Online Review Sites Remain True Whatever Year (or decade!) you may be on. Lets get right down to it.
- Do Provide Good, Quality Service or Products to Your Customers
This is the first order of business. All businesses must provide Good, Quality Service or Products to their Customers. If you feel this is your business’ primary problem, please turn around now and stop reading this article.
- Do Claim Your Business in Google My Business, Yelp, Trip Advisor and other Review Sites that may be related to your business.
We have talked previously about how to set up a Google My Business Account here and how important it is to your business. There are other Review Sites apart from Google My Business though and you would have to make sure you claim your business there. This gives your business an identity online.
Keeping track of the accuracy of all these information is crucial and that’s why Feedback Systems offers system to help manage this and make sure your listings across all different review sites are up to date. Find out more here.
- Do NOT Interfere with the Natural Flow of Reviews aka “Review Gating”
Google updated their policies around what’s commonly known as review gating.
Review gating is a process where businesses first find out if a customer’s experience was positive or negative. When businesses only ask those who report having a positive experience to leave a review, this is known as “gating.”
According to one of the key changes in Google’s terms of service, businesses should not “discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.”
Google realizes that consumers use their reviews to make purchasing decisions. They also realize that, in order to continue to be a reliable source, they’ll need to make adjustments to their platform so consumers will keep returning to Google whenever they are searching for something.
- Do NOT Work with companies or 3rd party vendors offering to “Remove Bad Reviews”
There are dozens of companies that claim to work with review sites to remove your negative reviews for a fee. If you’re wondering how these companies can make good on this offer, the answer is simple: they can’t. You can spend ages trying to remove a bad review from Yelp or Google but it just doesn’t happen very often, if at all.
What you want to have is something called Review Insurance. A business owner can never tell when they will be hit with a negative review. Due to the nature of NPS or net promoter score employed by most review sites, a negative review hitting before the positive review will hurt a business. You want to have a stockpile of positive 5-star reviews so once that 1-star review hits, it doesn’t hurt as bad.
Also keep in mind that the best strategy for reputation management is to provide great customer service, and to respond diplomatically to your reviewers. Which brings us to the next point..
- Do Respond to Your Reviews – may it be Positive or Negative
If you’ve claimed your business page, you can respond to your reviews with a Public Comment, direct message, or both. We recommend starting with a Public Comment. Public Comments appear below the review and are visible to anyone looking at your page. A Public Comment shows your commitment to customer service.
Responding to a positive review is simple. Start with a Public Comment and give them a genuine, honest, personalized thanks. That’s it. While a personalized Public Comment saying thank you is better, this will do in a pinch.
For negative reviews, take a step back and look at the review as feedback. Every business has areas they can improve in. With that in mind, take a minute before you respond and collect your thoughts. It’ll take some of that edge out of what you write. We recommend that you start with a public comment. That way you get credit for your customer service. The next step is to take the high road. Your response represents your business. You don’t want to worry about turning people off because of a hasty response. Finally, don’t worry. In the end, you can’t please 100% of your customers 100% of the time. Focus on learning, growing, and providing great customer service.
It becomes very tedious for a business owner to manage the reviews from different review sites. Feedback Systems offers an all-in-one reputation management system where you can not only reply to any and all reviews that come in through different review sites, but also proactively seek reviews from you customers. And speaking of which..
- Do ask your Customers to Leave you a Review
Always keep in mind that your main problem is not that you provide a bad product or service. Your main problem is you don’t ask for enough reviews. You have an untapped reservoir of customers waiting to be asked to leave a review. The thing is, it is painstakingly difficult for your customers to leave you a review. Imagine when you ask a happy customer to leave you a review on Yelp – the customer has to go to Yelp, search for your business and then leave their review. A customer would really only do that if he was pretty disappointed about something.
How great would it be if you found a solution that asks your customers to leave reviews hassle free? If you’re curious about how Feedback Systems can help you build a online presence that customers adore, give us a shout.