Author: Cassie Scott
Poll: Are You Monitoring What Online Reviewers Are Saying About Your Business?
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Do you want to know what customers say about your business behind your back? Review sites provide that opportunity, enabling you to listen, change and improve your business plan.
Review sites are websites where customers can post reviews about people, businesses, products or services. You’ll quickly discover that many of them (like Yelp, Foursquare and Google+) are loaded with thousands of positive, negative and neutral business reviews.
According to Nicole Nash, the Archery Trade Association’s manager of retail programs, it’s important for archery retailers to know about these sites because they can help boost your company’s reputation.
“Online reviews drive traffic. People communicate, share and place their honest opinion on review sites,” Nash said. “Others see those comments and make judgments based on someone else’s experience.”
A Google Consumer Survey study found that online reviews affect 67.7 percent of respondents’ purchasing decisions, while a study by BrightLocal found 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Both studies make it clear that online reviews influence the decision-making process.
“The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to receive new and repeat customers,” Nash said. “But it’s almost inevitable you’ll have negative reviews. It’s up to you to deliver good customer service and make things right.”
The Google study found if businesses have four or more negative reviews, they’ll likely lose 70 percent of potential customers. Nash advises businesses to take action after seeing a negative review.
“If you monitor review sites and combat negative reviews, often times you can repair the damage,” Nash said. “Reach out publicly and politely to customers, and find out what went wrong. Doing so gives you a way to redeem yourself. It shows others you care about customers and your business.”
Laura Montini, author of the article “How to Defend your Business from a Bad Yelp Review,” notes that a mix of good and bad reviews is normal. Otherwise people get suspicious. The infographic on Inc.com details how reviews help and hurt your business, and what you can do in response.
Learn how to defend your business against bad reviews in this Entrepreneure.com post, “Feeling the Sting of Recent Rotten Reviews on Yelp!”
Nash notes that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter work much like review sites because both help promote services. In a way it’s like free advertising.
“Manage your social media accounts just like you would a review site, and before you know it you might start to see new faces walking around your shop,” Nash said.
Increase your web presence and collect customer feedback by promoting your company on several review sites. Use the list posted on Business News Daily to get started.
To learn more ways to expand your business and attract new customers through Retail Growth Initiative services, visit the RGI program page or contact Nicole Nash for more information. It’s free to ATA members!