How Does Your Reputation Work?
Working with as many different companies as we have over the last 5 years, it's become abundantly clear that most businesses don't realize how important their online reputation is to their long term success.
Let me explain....
We all know that Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Google are all asking for your customer's reviews. And your customers are more than happy to say how they feel about your business. But why are you not paying attention to those reviews? Those reviews are snapshots from your customer's perspectives of your business. They tell the rest of the world how your staff treats people: if you have good service and if you serve or offer a good product. Now you as a business owner should want to know all of these things, but when we start looking at your Yelp and TripAdvisor we see thousands and thousands of profiles that have never been logged into or claimed, have never had a review replied to, have never done anything with, and yet they sit and wonder why their business is slower than usual. Here's some insight on how reviews work and what these sites can do for you:
- 97% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business: Bright Local, 2017
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations: Bright Local, 2017
Nowadays, the competition is brutal and your business can easily be swamped by your competitors. In fact, pull up your phone, go on your Apple Maps or Google Search, and type in "restaurant near me" or grocery store."
The ones that show up will almost always be the one with the most and best reviews. Those are the people that are killing the review game and those are the ones that you need to learn from. Remember, everybody is trying to get to that top position! So how do you beat them and claim the top spot for yourself? With reviews of course!
How Important are Reviews for Your Reputation?
Throughout the years, we've seen reviews make or break a business. Reviews can either boost your business or become your business' saboteur, so why not take advantage of it? In fact, the more that business owners focus on reviews and customer interactions on reviews, the better their business thrives! More reviews mean more customers and clients through the door. Consider some of these statistics:
- 73% of consumers trust a local business more with positive reviews: Bright Local, 2017
- 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked - with 74% having been asked for their feedback: Bright Local, 2017
What does this mean for you and your business? It means you have to be proactive if you want to keep up with the competition. The facts speak for themselves: you need to actively try to get more reviews and engage with said reviews. It's pretty simple once you think of it. If a business asks their consumers for more reviews on their product or service, then they will most likely get more reviews. This will attribute to more customers through the door. And you just simply repeat the process! It's as simple as that! That's all there is to it! Or is it?
Positive and Negative Reviews
You may be getting reviews, but what if it's a negative review? That's right, you can ask your customers to leave a review, but you can't ensure that they will leave a positive one. You can't ensure that anyone will leave a positive review. This all depends on the quality of your business and how good your service or product is! But regardless, it is pertinent for you to have a positive review overall.
- 80% of consumers say the star ratings they trust the most are 4.0, 4.5, and 5 stars: Review Trackers, 2018
- 94% say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business: Review Trackers, 2018
The golden standard for reviews is four stars or above. Even a three star review would barely be breaking the mold. Nowadays, with so many positive reviews, people are quick to look at the ones that negatively reflect your business and your reputation. Especially if you don't have that many reviews in the first place.
But that doesn't mean you're completely powerless to do anything about it. Even if you do have negative reviews, it isn't the end of the world. Sometimes, the negative reviews can actually be just as useful as the positive reviews.
What should you do for negative reviews?
First and foremost, you can report the negative review if you believe that the review is unfair or false, but obviously you can't do this with all reviews. That's why, second, you can choose to respond to the reviews instead! This applies to both positive and negative reviews.
- 30% of consumers believe that responding to reviews is key when judging local businesses: Review Trackers, 2018
- 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. But 63% say that a business has never responded to their review: Review Trackers, 2018
When customers see how you interact with reviews, it shows that you care about what your customers think! On the positive reviews, customers are more likely to leave a review if they feel like their opinions have an actual impact on the business.
For the negative reviews, replying to them shows that you acknowledge that there's an issue, and you're actively looking for ways to improve your business. So even if you do get a negative review, potential customers are less likely to see that as a bad thing. Never leave your customers disappointed or it will end up coming back around to you.
So what does this mean for you and your business?
It's important to recognize how much your reputation matters if you want your business to succeed. All the top businesses are using their reviews to the best of their abilities, so you should as well. If you want to be competitive, it's time to play the game like you mean it.
We do understand that not every business owner has the resources or time to be part of the digital marketing and reputation management world. Many of you are busy simply trying to run the day-to-day operations of your business! That's why iWerx is the digital marketing powerhouse it is today!
Contact your local digital marketing experts here at iWerx today! iWerx was created to be an all encompassing reputation and digital marketing agency! We handle the digital side of your business so you can just focus on what you do best. We recognize the importance of what you do and your business' reputation. Contact us now!