Reviews are an important part of business in today’s Internet world. Surveys indicate that over 80 percent of people will read reviews on a business before deciding to engage with them. Also the majority of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And referrals can be one of the most powerful ways to gain business. The importance of reviews cannot be overstated. Following are points to consider on managing online reviews:
- Identify Significant Review Sites – To manage Internet reviews it’s important to identify the most frequently used review sites in your area. Those that are used the most will have the greatest impact on people’s opinion of a business. These sites should be recommended to customers as places to post reviews.
- Encourage Positive Reviews – Taking a passive approach to reviews can have really bad results. People that are unhappy are more likely to post reviews than those that are happy. So asking people to post reviews can have a major benefit. To take this one step further – making it easy to post reviews will encourage more people to do so. An email with a link to a review site that takes them right to the page where they can post the review will bring positive results.
- Handle Negative Reviews – Negative reviews can be quite damaging and it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible. Sometimes they’re the result of misunderstandings and can be rectified relatively easily. If a negative review is justified offering to make up for the bad experience the customer had can turn the situation around. Often this will result in them modifying the review and giving a better rating to the business.
- Comment on Reviews – Whether positive or negative posting comments on reviews can be very beneficial. Commenting on a positive review can expand on its benefits and further the relationship. Commenting on a negative review can provide a chance to offer your side of the story. Taking the time to comment is time well spent.