By Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation
Small businesses can easily establish credibility for their brand by encouraging customers to write online reviews about their experience. But do you have a plan for how you’ll manage the reviews once they’re up? If you don’t have a strategy for online customer review management, these pointers will give you a place to start:
- Respond to all reviews, especially the negative ones.
- Hone your tone to strike the balance between professional and friendly.
- Monitor your social media platforms for feedback.
- Request that customers leave reviews.
Read on for more details.
Don’t ignore any review – even the negative ones.
All reviews require a response from your business – the positive ones, the negative ones, and especially those that ask questions. Make sure you know the review sites and local listings where reviews are shared (Yelp and Trustpilot are pretty popular in the small business community), and then make a point to check in regularly and engage with your reviewers.
Don’t make the mistake of sweeping negative reviews under the rug. These require a speedy response to mitigate damage to your reputation and rating. Think of negative reviews as an opportunity for your business to become a problem solver. Respond to the reviewer and address their concerns head-on. Let them know you are excited to fix the problem and include your contact information so that they may reach out to you directly.
Do consider your tone.
Savvy business owners don’t let their emotions dictate their response to a review. Instead, they behave like a professional. However, it’s also important to avoid a canned or insincere response. Be authentic and transparent. Step into the customer’s shoes and see the issues from where they stand in order to provide solutions.
Don’t neglect your social media handles.
In addition to monitoring listings and review sites for feedback, be sure to check the ones on your company’s social media accounts. Let users know that you’re happy to further discuss the issue through direct or private message and work with customers to meet their needs.
Do request reviews from customers.
If you had to choose between doing business with a company with recent reviews versus one that was last reviewed two years ago, you’d likely pick the one with fresh reviews. This shows that your business is still active and trustworthy. Encourage your customers to keep leaving you reviews and continue addressing them so you can learn more about your customer base and their expectations.
About the Author
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.