Has your company ever been knocked down by a bad review or two? We’ve all heard the horror stories of businesses losing customers, or worse, being attacked online. Whether or not the review is true, it can easily damage your reputation within the community, drive customers away, and start cutting into profits.
Online reviews are arguably the most valuable form of social capital and no one wants a bad review. The good news is that there’s an easy solution. We’ll get to that in a moment.
If you haven’t had a lot of experience dealing with reviews (good or bad) then you might be surprised to hear that, according to Bright Local’s recent “Local Consumer Review Survey 2015,” an unbelievable 92% of consumers now read online reviews. Ninety-two percent is a massive number businesses ignoring this durable market trend do so at their own peril.
In fact, this statistic has jumped up 4% since 2014. More and more people are turning to the internet to research a product or business before spending any money. They trust online reviews and are likely going to follow the advice they read from other consumers. Knowing how to get online reviews through Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc. can be an incredible advantage over the competitors that don’t understand the value of a positive online reputation.
You may have a great in-person reputation with your regulars, but don’t overlook the importance of having a solid online review strategy in place. Without a good strategy, you could easily fall prey to online reputation bashing that will negatively impact your margins. All it takes is one unhappy person with enough motivation to log into a review site (or two, or three) and let you have it.
Once a bad review is written about you, it’s there for the world to see – day and night, seven days a week. Years ago, an unsatisfied customer might tell a few friends about their bad experience, but things have changed and customers now have massive reach and a 24/7 online audience for their scathing reviews that only serve to harm your reputation and your bottom line.
They’re inevitable (so be prepared)
They make future customers doubt you
They are incredibly difficult to get removed and most likely stay online indefinitely
They’re bad for your bottom line
They will damage your reputation as long as they exist
So it finally happened. Everything seemed to be going just fine until you got wind of an angry customer’s review on Yelp. And Google. And Facebook. Your first instinct might be to fire back or seek legal action, but that’s not recommended.
Seeking legal action to get reviews removed rarely pays off, especially when you consider the amount of time, money and frustration you’ll invest. In most cases, we recommend you don’t even bother taking this route.
Think about this … a great online reputation isn’t about having zero bad reviews. It’s about one thing and one thing only: Your “Review Ratio.” Seeking perfection is a road to misery; bad reviews are inevitable so you simply want to (earnestly) gun for a healthy ratio of positive to negative reviews.
Don’t waste your time fighting a bad review, instead, focus your time to create a maximum number of great reviews. Think about it, if you have 2 negative reviews and 100 positive then your reputation is still in great shape. Right?
Consider your own shopping habits – chances are, products you’ve bought in the past had some some negative reviews. Why did you still purchase it? Because there were far more good reviews to support your decision. The same principle applies to your business: Build up your customer’s confidence in you by providing an overwhelming amount of good reviews.
By thinking and acting strategically to bring in positive reviews, you’ll be creating a buffer to protect your businesses’ reputation when those negative reviews do inevitably trickle in.
By Daniel Vivarelli
Founder of Starloop.com
Starloop is the fast & easy way to get online reviews.