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What Marketers Need To Know About Online Reviews For Local Businesses?

Business & Marketing | Anurag Gupta | Updated: 2015-08-28

What Marketers Need To Know About Online Reviews For Local Businesses?

In today's digital age, the buying decision of your customers gets profusely influenced by the online reviews that your business carries. It is always conducive to bear a plethora of positive reviews and for that you must be equipped with an impeccable strategy for acquiring online reviews from your customers and managing online reputation.

  • How consumers use online reviews Consumers get easily swayed by the online reviews of a business, and usually make their decision then and there only. Their yes or no largely depends upon the reviews they scroll down about how a business might satiate their needs. If they feel contended with the reviews and form a positive opinion about your business and the products & services you render, they may end up dealing with you.

According to a survey conducted by Bright Local, around 85% of consumers reported reading online reviews and about 67% of consumers will read 6 reviews or less before they form an opinion about a given business.

  • SEO Factor Search engines take into account the online reviews of local business houses while juggling up with the ranking place of different websites. The one which has got abundant positive reviews tends to get higher ranking as compared to the one which is not carrying such jewel. Here, we show you a pie chart in which there is a breakdown of different variables which influence SEO rankings.
  • Online Adverse Review management We recommend you to set up a service like Google Alerts, as by this you get notified every time whenever your business is mentioned online, so you can well manage your online reputation.

Your diplomacy comes into action as you get a negative review because that needs to be handled with utmost prudence. The best way to treat a negative review is-

  • To apologize and offer to make up for it and resolve the issue by taking care of what caused them so much dissatisfaction.
  • You should adopt a course of action to build up a relationship with the discontented customer and offer them a free service or an offer or a discount to compensate with the loss or inconvenience caused to them. But do keep in mind that you are not allowed to offer any kind of incentive in the return of which you ask them to change their online review as it is considered to be a bad practice.
  • When you receive a negative review, don't forget to take the conversation offline. Once you have acknowledged it and offered to help, as it is not necessary to bring the nitty gritty details of the matter in the eyes of the public.

Trust me, it is really a bad idea to get defensive while responding to a negative review as it would just end up in a heated argument and will definitely make you lose your customer forever. So, you need to be patient and gracious at the same time. Besides this, it is always commendable to reciprocate to a positive review with a Thank You note as it counts to be a pleasing gesture.

How to get customer reviews for your business -

  • There are various aspects to getting customer reviews online, but you are not allowed to offer incentives in the return of writing a positive review. However, you are always allowed to ask for reviews or remind them to review. If someone appreciates your service then you can ask them that it would be lovely if you say that on google. Another way is that you can have a card with QR code or ashisustomers which lead them to where they can leave a review. This is a highly user-friendly way which doesn't even ask for much time of your customer. It has been perceived that online reviews have a better impact on the customer than Facebook likes or the number of Twitter followers.
  • You can always remind them to review at the end of a transaction like for a restaurant or coffee shop, this could be a feedback slip accompanying the receipt. For an e-commerce retailer it can be a slip of paper included in the shipment.

Do take into account important data and stats

Bright Local's 2014 local customer Review survey of over 2000 customers revealed some critical and compelling data

  • 88% of respondents read/used reviews to determine the quality of a local business; an overwhelming majority of respondents, 93%, said they checked reviews before dining or shopping. This means no matter how good your website is, or how compelling your offering, your customers will seek out other opinions. Having a strategy to earn, manage, and respond to reviews is a must.
  • 85% of respondents to the Bright Local survey read up to 10 different reviews while researching their purchase, pointing to the fact that customers aren't blindly accepting the first review they read, but triangulating the feedback they find to get the real story behind a business. (That ought to be encouraging for businesses, as it means one terrible review is unlikely to sink you. But shoppers do weigh reviews heavily.)
  • 88% of respondents said they trusted online reviews as much as they'd trust a personal recommendation (overwhelmingly the most trusted form of advertising by consumers, according to Nielsen's Trust in Advertising Report), though the caveat is reviews had to be authentic, and there had to be enough of them to make a judgement call.

So, put your best foot forward in building up a strategy to magnetize more and more positive online reviews for your business. A well-managed online reputation can be a huge business generator and, on the other hand, the critical reviews urge you to polish your skills and work on the areas that have a corner for improvement.

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