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6 online review sites your company should target

Today’s consumers are becoming increasingly technologically savvy. From determining which product to buy to which restaurant to try, consumers are relying more on online customer reviews to help make their purchasing and dining decisions. In fact, according to a survey by Search Engine Land, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So which review sites should your company pay attention to?

  1. Google My Business.

When consumers search for a local company on Google, reviews posted about that company show up in the search results. The reviews and star ratings help consumers decide whether that particular store or restaurant is worthy of their business. In 2014, Google began using the Pigeon update, which is an algorithm that uses the location and distance ranking parameters to improve search results. Google takes all the information from a company’s site as well as its reviews to produce more content, which makes the business appear more reputable.

If you want your business to show up in search results, you need to optimize your site. Set up accounts with local directories and online review sites, particularly with Google My Business. Your sales and the visitors to your site will increase as people post more comments, reviews and pictures of their experiences with your business.

  1. Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit site that examines several types of businesses, comparing their products or services with best business standards and depicting the customer satisfaction rate. The Better Business Bureau does not endorse a certain business or recommend it to the public as the best, but it provides people with information about businesses and if they meet with the site’s accreditation standards.  

The site evaluates both non-accredited and accredited businesses. A general Better Business Bureau profile of a company contains information about the business, its accreditation status, a list of complaints and reviews posted by customers and information on its dissolution. The Better Business Bureau rates businesses from A (highest) to F (lowest) based on the business’s complaint history; the type of business it is; how long the business has been open; how transparent it is; licensing and government issues; and known advertising issues.

  1. Yelp.

According to Yelp, Yelpers wrote more than 102 million reviews by the end of Q1 2016. Yelp allows people to rate a company and post reviews about their experiences, while allowing companies to respond. A company can create a Yelp profile, which includes its hours and location, and users can register to review the company for free. Companies can only respond to a certain number of reviews or messages each day.

Your business should work toward attaining positive reviews so that they appear at the top of your Yelp page. Having a profile on Yelp increases your company’s chance of showing up on Google’s search results.

  1. Yellow Pages.

Yellow Pages, a partner of Yelp, is a leading local marketing solutions provider in the U.S. Yellow Pages provides listings, coupons and reviews for millions of businesses. Yellow Pages uses an online reviews and ratings system so that customers can share their experiences with everyone else.

  1. Facebook.

Facebook provides users with the option to review a business by clicking on “Facebook Ratings & Reviews,” which users can find on the left-hand side of their pages. Users can choose to make their posts public to all, only to friends or only to them. People can also post a review on a business’s Facebook page, which automatically goes on its wall for all to see.

  1. TripAdvisor.

Businesses in the travel, tourism, entertainment, hotel and restaurant industry should check out TripAdvisor to see what people are saying about them. The site has more than 225 million opinions, pictures and reviews posted by consumers and customers. The review site offers information on airfares, rental listings, travel guides and advice forums. It’s useful for customers who are deciding where to visit and eat while they are traveling.

A great way to remain aware of what people are saying about your company online is by investing in an online reputation management software like ReviewMaxer. ReviewMaxer collects reviews from more than 500 review sites and puts them into one central database where you can respond to the reviews and share them on social media. 

 

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Paul Cook


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The success of your company depends on your reputation. When a customer leaves a positive review, your online reputation flourishes. However, when a customer leaves a negative review, you could lose future business. Using these six tips, learn how to make the best of positive and negative online reviews to ensure greater success for your company.

1. Always be genuine.

It’s important to sound real and not robotic when replying to a customer’s feedback. Talk to your customers as if they are your friends. When you use a corporate tone in your replies to customers who post negative reviews, it’s harder for your customers to sense your sincerity. Be friendly and consistent with all your responses.

2. Never lie or mislead.

Learn from the mistakes of Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey and plastic surgery company Lifestyle Lift. Mackey was caught bashing his competition anonymously online while celebrating his company on stock market websites. Similarly, Lifestyle Lift had to pay $300,000 in fines for deceiving customers with its advertisements because employees left positive reviews about the company without revealing that they were working for the company. Don’t deceive your customers. Always be honest and transparent.

3. Remember quality over quantity.

You don’t have to respond to every single review posted about your company, but be sure to stay engaged with your customers and respond when necessary. Simply liking a posted review or writing “Thank you for the great review,” goes a long way with customers. Be sure to acknowledge those who left a negative review, letting them know that you heard them and that you’re doing everything you can to make amends. Find ways to personalize your reviews.

4. Be aware that online review sites will identify and ban the internet trolls.

Sites such as Yelp have a strict policy against internet trolls, removing their comments and banning them from the board. If someone has posted negative feedback without using your services, the site will remove it. Another option you have is to track what people post and where by ordering online reputation management software.

The benefit of having such software is that it gives you considerable amount of control of what your consumers post and where it shows up. Even if people post bad reviews about your company, the number of positive reviews will overshadow them.

5. Never become defensive.

When people say negative things and attack your company, you might feel like they are attacking you personally. Your company is the result of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Reading a bad comment may bring out your defensive side. If you address a customer in a defensive tone, remember that everyone can see your post and it may go viral. Keep calm and think before you respond. Consider handwriting a response so that you get your frustrations out before you post a defensive response.

6. Don’t wait too long to respond.

Thinking before you respond is important, but thinking for too long isn’t good either. If a customer has posted a negative review, you need to address it quickly. If you wait too long to respond, the customer may get more upset. If you resolve the problem, the customer may backtrack from his or her negative comments and update the review noting your customer-centric approach.

The best way to know what a customer is posting is by having online reputation management software. It will alert you each time someone posts a review about your company so that you may reach out to the customer in a timely and appropriate manner. Purchase our online reputation management software, ReviewMaxer, today!

 

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Paul Cook


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Hint: Don’t do this!

It’s no longer enough for an organization to create a basic website and call it a day. In today’s digital world, if your business isn’t active on social media, you’re missing an essential marketing component.

The same goes for customer reviews. In fact, according to a recent survey, while 35 percent of consumers say that one negative review can convince them not to purchase a product, an overwhelming 92 percent of consumers will hesitate to buy if there are no reviews at all. This means that having zero customer reviews is actually a much bigger problem than having one negative review among the positive ones.

Even the best companies receive negative reviews, and they know there’s a right way to go about addressing customer complaints. Lots of companies struggle with how to deal with negative feedback on Yelp, but that’s just one platform. Many companies now rely on their Facebook pages for business listings, ad promotion and customer reviews. Because it’s a social site that’s fraught with oversharing, you need to be especially attentive when dealing with unfavorable feedback. If you aren’t careful, you could easily be swept up in a commenting storm that has serious consequences for your brand’s reputation.

The most famous example: Amy’s Baking Company

After Scottsdale, Arizona, restaurant Amy’s Baking Company appeared on an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” the owners took to the company Facebook page to defend themselves from an onslaught of negative comments. On the show, Ramsay actually gave up on the couple and walked off for the first time in the history of the series, deeming them too difficult to work with. After the episode aired, the owners proved that they were not, in fact, victims of clever reality TV editing. Their social media updates quickly escalated to the point where they verbally attacked commenters, threatened legal action against them, and then – like so many social media cautionary tales before them – claimed their page had been hacked.

Amy’s Baking Company was already in trouble; it had garnered dozens of negative reviews on Yelp and Google and further unsavory details emerged about the couple after their “Kitchen Nightmares” episode aired. Their infamous Facebook meltdown pushed things over the edge. The company eventually closed its doors.

What happened with Amy’s Baking Company is an over-the-top example, and it certainly doesn’t represent the norm. But it’s a lesson every business should learn about how social media practices impact customer loyalty and brand image.

The number one rule of online reviews: You should always respond to negative Facebook posts, comments and reviews. By choosing to stay silent, you allow the consumer to have the last word and give the impression that you simply want the problem to go away. You should also fight the temptation to remove negative posts, which could actually backfire, as consumers will be suspicious if every review is overwhelmingly positive.

Use caution when responding

In the same way that you should never write an email while angry, you shouldn’t respond to a negative review if you’re feeling angry or hurt. If you need to, take a few hours to calm down before responding. Be respectful of the customer’s opinions and respond in a way that shows you want to make it right. When you respond to negative reviews with patience and sincerity, you send a clear signal to your other customers.

Dishonest reviews

What about the times when a customer is actually dishonest in a review? While your first instinct may be to aggressively defend your reputation, don’t. Apologize for the customer’s experience, point out any false details without addressing blame or becoming defensive and make every attempt to make it right. Even if there’s nothing you can do to change a customer’s mind in a particular circumstance, other customers will see how well you handled the situation.

Above all, you shouldn’t take personal offense to Facebook comments and reviews, but you should take them seriously. By responding in a prompt and thoughtful manner, you can turn a bad experience into a positive impression.

Consumers expect businesses to be active on social media, and they use customer comments and reviews to help them make buying decisions. Every business should take steps to generate customer reviews and carefully respond to negative reviews. (It’s a nice touch to respond to positive reviews – a simple “thank you” will do.) A reputation management tool can help you keep track of your online customer reviews and your all-important online reputation.

Watch this free demonstration video to see how ReviewMaxer software works and how it improves your online reputation.

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Matt Harding

Matt Harding is the founder and creative director at Fan & Fuel in Carlsbad, CA. The design and digital strategy group creates branding, e-commerce, social media and digital marketing solutions to connect audiences in the manufacturing, service, retail and lifestyle trend markets.


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