517 Magazine Days of Giveaways

Reviews Can Make or Break a Business

Be sure to respond to all feedback, positive or negative Have you ever wanted to see what other consumers have said about a product before making a purchase? It seems to be the …

Be sure to respond to all feedback, positive or negative

Have you ever wanted to see what other consumers have said about a product before making a purchase? It seems to be the main determinant in the decision to buy or not to buy.

According to a report by Fan & Fuel, 92% of shoppers balk at making a purchase if there are no customer reviews, ad 97% say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions.

And it isn’t just the number of stars that makes an impression, according to the report. Written reviews are more important, according to 73% of those who responded. And 35% report a negative review can convince them to look elsewhere for a product or service.

That’s not all. A poll of 1,000 U.S. respondents by Street Fight found that 19.1% of respondents are more likely to write a review after a poor experience, compared to 16.8% after a pleasant one. Another 42.5% said they’re equally likely to write a review regardless of the experience.

If you want to generate more reviews, you need to have a presence on websites where people regularly post reviews. These include Yelp, Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor and the Better Business Bureau.

Most of these sites require your business to have a profile on their platform, which is usually free to create.

On Yelp, you can go to the business registration page here and register your enterprise. Yelp will even give you a free set of tools to maximize your presence on the website and upload photos and a link to your business website.

Business owners can find out how to create a Facebook business page here on the Hootsuite website. The site contains detailed and simple instructions on how to get the most out of your Facebook listing.

For Google, you must verify your business and set up a URL that is specific to your business. The process is described on the Google help page. Definitely do not offer incentives for reviews on Google – you will likely be removed by doing so.

To be listed on TripAdvisor and start earning reviews, go to the company’s help page. Of course, you must fall into one of the TripAdvisor categories: hotel, restaurant, attraction or vacation rentals. More than 60 million visitors see TripAdvisor reviews.

The Better Business Bureau is another trusted review site. You can find out if your business is listed and, if not, fill out the information to be in the registry by going to the business listing page.

When you are composing your message for someone to review your product, it should be an invitation instead of a plea. Phrase it as “We invite you to leave feedback so we can serve you better,” or something along that line.

Better yet, do a search for a business feedback invitation template. You will find a ton of good ideas, excellent verbiage for your invitation and more information than you ever thought possible.

An important aspect of inviting people to review your company and its services is to monitor what people are saying. If it is a positive review, thank the reviewer, not only for the feedback but also for the business.

If the review is negative, Review Tracker recommends including the following seven elements in your response:

  • Address the reviewer, preferably by name
  • Say thank you for the feedback
  • Apologize for the bad experience and sympathize with the reviewer
  • Take responsibility without making excuses
  • Make things right by promising to do better in the future
  • Take the issue offline so the negativity does not continue to fester in public
  • Ask for a second chance

Most reviewers want a response from your business, and they will usually give you seven days to acknowledge the review and respond to it. Ideally, according to Review Tracker, you should respond within three days of the posting.

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