Online reviews have the power to change a company’s status overnight. One bad review appearing at the top of a company’s search results can turn customers away and cause them to do business with the company’s competition. In order to maintain a successful business, it is crucial to have accurate and positive search results showing up on the first page of Google. Online review management can help. In this post we outline some online review best practices and strategies to use for your business.
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The Importance of Google Reviews
A company’s first page on Google often represents a first impression of the company to consumers. Today, the majority of consumers will consult a company’s online reviews and search results before committing to making a purchase. Depending on whether your reviews are positive or negative, it will directly correlate with your business’s conversion rates.
Along with the classic search results, search engines like Google now have a feature that shows a small selection of a company’s Google reviews on the right side of the page. These reviews are what will stand out to consumers looking into a business. If the results display one or two bad reviews, potential customers may be scared away.
Bad Reviews Can Affect Your Online Reputation
Google also uses this information when considering a company’s overall reputation score. If negative reviews and comments appear in this section, the company’s rankings on Google may fall as their cost for marketing and SEO increases.
A negative online reputation can negatively impact your ability to gain new customers or maintain the trust of current customers, employees, and even business partners. No one wants to invest in a business or brand with a bad reputation.
How to Address Bad Reviews:
How to Handle Fake Reviews
Online reviews have such a strong impact on potential customers because they offer a first-hand look at real experiences had by other customers. However, it is important to realize that not all reviews are reliable.
Fake reviews have become a major issue for businesses both big and small. Businesses and individuals in service industries are at particularly high risk for receiving fake negative reviews. This group includes doctors, surgeons, mechanics, restaurants, oil companies, financial service companies, and many more.
Fake reviews may be left by past employees, competitors, or individuals holding a personal grudge who are looking to attack a business or individual. This is especially important for small and local businesses. One bad review handled with care can be a deciding factor in your success.
Best practices for handling reviews:
If you think you’ve encountered a fake review for your business, it’s usually best to report fake or inaccurate reviews to the review website’s support team. In repeated cases, the best action could be legal recourse.
How to Handle a Bad Review
When approached with care, consideration, and confidence, bad reviews can turn into an opportunity to improve your business’s customer service. Negative reviews allow your business to publicly display attention to customer satisfaction. According to studies, more than two-thirds of users trust reviews more when they are a mix of negatives and positives.
Responding to customer feedback, especially negative, is incredibly important. Avoiding bad reviews entirely can be detrimental to business, decreasing your star ratings as well as your customer’s ability to trust your business.
Best practices on addressing a bad review:
Flagging Inappropriate Reviews. If a review is full of profanity or hateful speech it most likely violates the terms of whatever review site it’s on. Instead of responding, it’s best to flag it and escalate it to the review site administrator.
Ignoring Irrational Reviews. Sometimes customers will write reviews just to irk a business owner and staff. In this case, it’s best to ignore the reviews, to avoid any further argument.
Responding to Negative Reviews. Many customers that have a negative experience will post a review with their reasoning fro feeling dissatisfied. In these cases, it’s best to respond whether you agree or not. It shows that you care about the experience of your customers.,
What to Do When Bad Reviews Cause You to Lose Business
If your review response was not quick enough or did not help improve the customer’s dissatisfaction, it could turn into a much bigger problem. When bad reviews become a bigger problem it’s time to improve customer satisfaction and invest in online review management.
How Our Online Review Management Services
Companies need to develop a strategy for online reviews. This will help to protect, or better yet prevent, fake reviews from bringing down their business. How can businesses be sure the reviews that are representing their company are authentic and how can they remove fake reviews?
Reputation911 offers online review management services while following best practices to help businesses and professionals improve and protect their online reviews. While some companies offer a short term fix for online review management, the team at Reputation911 goes a step further to ensure long term permanent results.
Many companies that provide online review management services will provide a dashboard for businesses to manage their reviews on open-ended sites such as Yelp, Vitals, Tripadvisor, and Google+. While these sites can be a great way to reach customers and get a company’s name out there, they are geared more towards the users of the site rather than the business itself.
How Can Reputation Management Help?
The team at Reputation911 will build out close-ended business sites, blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and LinkedIn to allow the business owner or individual to have control over what is being said about their company.
At the same time, Reputation911 will set up their clients on certified consumer review sites to prevent fake reviews from being published. These sites use ethical and professional tactics to identify and filter out fake reviews while posting authentic reviews for potential customers to see.
Reputation911 adds another layer of protection by checking reviews left on open-ended sites to make sure they are real reviews sent from real customers with real IP addresses. If a fake review is detected, the legal team will challenge the review and work to have it taken down.
For more information about how to monitor and manage your online reviews and maintain your business reputation, contact Reputation911 at 866-MY-REP-911.