Online reviews give small business owners a golden opportunity to leverage their customers’ reviews for more sales and brand awareness.
Like word-of-mouth marketing, online reviews can significantly impact your business’s success.
According to a survey by Trustpilot, 95% of consumers trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations, with 92% admitting to reading online reviews before making a purchase.
Online reviews are a game-changer for small businesses. However, with great power comes great responsibility.
Avoiding these common mistakes and pitfalls will ensure online reviews work in your favour.
Neglecting Review Tracking
You can’t manage what you can’t see.
Implement a tracking system (e.g., Google Alerts) to stay informed about what customers are saying online about your business.
Monitor your business name and consider including your name, contact details, and relevant keywords.
Awareness of where your reviews are being posted allows you to address negative feedback and leverage positive reviews in your marketing efforts.
Forgetting to Request Reviews
Don’t forget to collect valuable online reviews – don’t wait for them to happen organically.
Many small businesses miss out on encouraging customers to share their experiences online.
Whether through a printed card or an email, develop a routine of politely requesting customers to review your business, especially after completing a transaction or providing a service.
There are many different platforms where customers can leave reviews of your business.
Register your business on websites such as:
Ignoring Review Responses
Businesses need to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, which demonstrates their commitment to customer satisfaction.
Seize the opportunity to showcase your exceptional customer service by thanking positive reviewers and addressing concerns from negative ones.
These interactions can leave a lasting impression on potential customers who observe your responsiveness and may try your establishment even though another customer did not have a good experience.
Failing to Offer Offline Resolution
When responding to negative reviews, extend an invitation for the customer to contact you directly through a provided phone number or email address.
Resolving the issue in private is far more constructive than a public online exchange, which can deter potential customers and draw them out into a long public exchange.
Avoiding Argumentative Replies
Regardless of the tone or accuracy of a negative review, always maintain a calm and professional demeanour in your responses.
Avoid public confrontations as they reflect poorly on your business.
Focus on resolving issues privately when feasible and counterbalance negative reviews with an abundance of positive ones from satisfied customers.
In conclusion, online reviews are a potent tool for small businesses to bolster sales and enhance their brand’s visibility.
Avoid these five mistakes, and you’ll harness the full potential of online reviews while fostering a positive image for your business.