Everybody knows that reputation is everything. This is equally true for businesses, and particularly online businesses. Google essentially rules the online world and they determine how much customer reviews positively or negatively affect a page ranking. Furthermore, they now clearly display reviews on search results if they are available. This means it is vital that you focus on review management to get your website noticed.
What Is out There?
Firstly, you need to find out what sort of reviews you have already received. Search for your own company on Bing and Google, as well as on social media, and find out what reviews are there. If there are any bad reviews and they appear high, you need to do something about it. Some other websites to check for bad reviews in particular include Ripoff Report, Citysearch and Kudzu.
Next, you have to be proactive. You need to get to your customers and control the information that is available. Focus on social media and building your reputation there. Also make sure you enter in a dialogue with customers.
Try to respond to all of your reviews, both positive and negative. Thank people who leaving a positive note and try to get some of your main selling points into this thank you note. Also thank negative reviewers for their time and address what issues they have raised and how you intend to resolve them. Do not make a reply heated, no matter how harsh you feel a comment is. Responding harshly will lose you a lot of respect.
Sometimes, you can’t give a public response, for instance if the review is on someone else site. The only thing you can do here is try to increase the number of positive reviews instead so that the negative review effectively gets buried.
Generate Positive Reviews
Next, you need to make sure that you start getting loads of positive reviews. This helps to increase your popularity on Google as well. So, what you need to do is encourage your customers to leave positive reviews. You may, for instance, give them an incentive to do so, for instance by offering them a discount on their next purchase. Don’t be afraid to send your customers an email with a link to a place where they can leave a review.
Do not, under any circumstances, write your own reviews. You may feel that the chance of being found out is minimal, but if you are found out, your credibility will take a huge dive and you will lose all reputation you have managed to build up so far. You can, however, provide your product for free or highly discounted to others in return for their opinion. If they then mention the fact that they tested the product in their review, it will actually make you look more credible, even if you have effectively paid for the review itself.
Review and reputation management is vital to the success of your business.