How to Improve your Online Reviews and Their Impact on your Small Business - Blog

The Impact of Online Reviews on Your Small Business

The Impact of Online Reviews on Your Small Business

It takes years of hard work to build a good reputation for your business, and as some businesses discover only seconds for your reputation to be tainted.  Developing a solid reputation and a strong relationship with your customers and the community that sustains the hearsay of one or two tainted opinions is something that happens over time. Relationship building used to be much more personal, taking place almost entirely through face-to-face interactions with your customers. However, with the advent of social media and other online platforms, maintaining your reputation has become a bit more complicated for many businesses.

Your customers are listening to what others are saying.

83% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Even if you haven’t established much of an online presence for your business, your customers may be creating one for you in the form of online reviews. And those reviews might be influencing potential customers even more than your paid advertising efforts. While having a wealth of positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations can bring new customers right to your door, online reviews can be a double-edged sword. Just as favorable reviews can help you build your business, negative reviews can quickly chip away at your hard-earned success.

Your customers are talking about your company online, and you should pay close attention to what they are saying. Carefully monitoring your online reviews, and responding to both positive and negative comments, allows you to be fully aware and to take control of your online reputation. However, for many small business owners, this process may be easier said than done. The everyday challenges of running a small business can make finding the time to not only search for but to also respond to reviews incredibly difficult.

Because it can be time consuming, many business owners don’t monitor their online reputation until a problem arises. While it may seem simpler to focus purely on addressing issues as they come up, taking a more proactive approach can help you avoid unpleasant surprises and even put online reviews to work for your business! Even though it takes time to monitor your online reputation, it’s well worth the effort.

Take the first step toward managing your online reputation.

In order to manage your online reviews, you first need to discover what platforms customers may be using to discuss your business. Customers look to platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google to share their personal experiences with brands and businesses, or to learn what sort of experiences others have had. 63% of consumers turn to a search engine to search for online reviews, so it’s incredibly important to search for your business on a regular basis so you’re aware of what your potential customers are first seeing when they search for you. Your business should also have a listing on any popular review sites.  This will allow you to monitor what current customers are saying about your business and to also encourage your customers to leave new reviews based on their recent experience with your product or service.

Be a part of the conversation (even if it’s a tough one).

Positive reviews can provide you with affirmation that your company is on the right track. But the elation of finding positive reviews can be quickly diminished by the discovery of negative ones. When faced with a negative review, it might be tempting to ignore it and hope that it goes unnoticed. However, by not addressing a customer complaint, the original issue may become exponentially worse when prospective customers see it, as well as your lack of response. In the eyes of a potential customer, silence on your end can sometimes carry more weight than the original complaint itself.

It’s important to remember that people aren’t just reading reviews from other customers; they’re also keeping a close eye on how your business responds to them. Taking the time to craft a polite and helpful response to a negative review sends the right message to the individual who left the review, as well as to your online audience. Responding to negative reviews also provides you with the opportunity to regain control of the situation and to help right a wrong. In some cases, you may even be able to turn things around and win back a customer.

Build a stronger reputation for your business.

Customers who are unhappy will share their experience with an average of 24 people, while happy customers only tell an average of 15 people.

Beyond responding to negative reviews online, another great way to boost your online reputation is to encourage customers to write new ones. However, because consumers are more likely to write a review following a negative experience, drawing in positive reviews can sometimes pose a bit of a challenge. Your happy customers are out there, they may just lack the time or motivation to share their experience. In order to overcome this challenge, it’s important to make the process of leaving a review as quick and easy as possible for your customers.

At Triton Commerce, we offer the solution of online review software that helps you capture new reviews quickly and easily. Our software makes the entire process much more convenient for both you and your customers by automatically asking customers for a review, and guiding them through the process. Reviews from happy customers can even be automatically streamed to your website. For better service recovery, customers who have had a negative experience are routed directly to you so you can address their complaint privately while also helping to resolve their immediate issue with your business. To learn more about how we can help streamline your reputation management strategy and improve your business’ online reputation, contact us today!

Having a good reputation has its perks.

68% of people say that positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

With so many consumers turning to social media and search engines to find local businesses, it has never been more important to monitor your online presence. Reputation management provides you with better control over how customers view your business. By creating profiles on popular social media and review platforms, you are able to develop a stronger brand presence and improve your ranking in branded searches. Through careful management of those profiles, and by encouraging customers to leave positive reviews, you can ensure that you are getting the right message to the people who are searching for you.

The right Reputation Management Strategy makes it easier for potential customers to find your business, and also allows you to make a positive first impression. While the process of creating and managing an online presence takes time, it’s nearly certain to pay off in the long run for you and your business. If you’re looking for expert advice on managing your online reputation, contact the team at Triton Commerce today!


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