Why do they matter? The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Study showed that over 83% of people check ratings and reviews before they decide which local business to use1. Plus they are the best way to keep your content really fresh. You need to encourage them and know how to respond to them.
1. Encourage all your customers to review your business
Potential customers are looking for this information to help them make decisions. The more you have the better. Lots of great reviews will ensure your business stands out from the crowd. Encouraging your happy customers to write fresh reviews helps keep positive messages at the top. And it keeps your content fresh for search engines to find.
2. Responding to your reviews
If you get a good review, let the reviewer know how important their customer feedback is to your business. Simply saying "thank you" shows you are listening – and subtly confirms their positive impression.
Tell people you're trying to get your reviews up and running. Ask your regular customers to write one for you. People like to help.
3. Responding to a negative review
It's easy to respond emotionally. Don’t.
We all care deeply about our own business and we don't like it when anyone says something negative. However, negative reviews offer important information about how things are going for customers and - while all businesses have the occasional bad day - if things are not going well consistently you need to know about it.
First up – own the situation. It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not. It's not about who's right or wrong. Overall, taking a deep breath, and writing a short, simple response is a good policy. Remember your response is going to be visible. How you respond to this feedback can help influence how others view your business. In a tricky situation you can simply say: “We are really sorry to hear you have had this experience. Can you reply with your contact details and we will get in touch immediately to help sort it out.” Then take it offline and work through things with them.
Always be factual, honest and keep it simple – don’t fall into the trap of making excuses. Thank them - if they have offered some constructive feedback. If you make changes based on their comments - thank them and let them know! For example: “Thank you for taking the time to give us this feedback. We really appreciate it. Having reviewed the situation we have decided to…” Replying to a review is a great way to show your customers that you are listening to them and value their input.
When you sort out the problems behind a negative review for a customer, encourage them to post a follow-up – it’s a great way to show other customers your business is customer-focused.
4. Write reviews for businesses you use
It gets you in the habit of thinking about things from a customer's point of view.
Ever had a plumber go the extra mile for you? A mechanic who always makes sure your car is super clean after a service? Reviews are a great way to let other people know about the fantastic service you’ve had from someone else's local business.
You can do all this in My Yellow.
Source 1: The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Study 2015