The Value of Online Reviews

ARK Blog

The Value of Online Reviews

Let’s be honest, reviews can be a little scary. You put your heart and soul into a business that you built from the ground up and the last thing you want to hear is that a customer has a bad experience. It can be disappointing and super personal to you as a business owner. We definitely understand this mindset, but we are challenging you to change it. We want to help take the fear out of reviews and show you how to use them, good or bad, to your advantage.

Google Reviews

Google reviews through your GMB page can act as a wonderful sales tool to promote your business. Most customers will search through Google for new goods and services before giving them a try. This is why it’s so important to have an up-to-date GMB page. When someone comes across your listing, you want them to see the best representation of your business. Potential customers see your reviews and judge how quickly you respond. They take note of the way you handle reviews. Whether you are polite, or you don’t respond at all. This speaks volumes to existing and new customers.

Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Other Review Sites

Yelp, Trip Advisor and other review sites are driven by specific search intent. By that, I mean most people search these sites because they specifically want to read reviews about a business. They want to know what your customers are saying. Google My Business is slightly different as those people who end up there are wanting to gain general knowledge about a local business (location, images, reviews, etc.).  Therefore, it’s imperative that you keep up a good impression and respond in a timely manner. Most customers who end up on these review sites are ready to try your goods and services. Seeking reviews is one of the last steps in the sales funnel, so you want to do whatever you can to close the deal.

The Good

As a business owner, good reviews are like gold stars you used to get in grade school. They make you feel good and keep you motivated. Most businesses will leave 4 to 5-star reviews unanswered. This might seem harmless but imagine if you took the time to address those who helped you achieve your high star rating. After all, they took the time to leave you a review. A timely response can do wonders for those who take time to write a review. Even sending a nice note to thank them for their business and offer them an incentive to return can go a long way! Not only does this help build your brand and keep your customers coming back, but it also sends a message to potential customers reading your reviews that you are kind enough to address everyone on your feed.

The Ugly

So, what the heck do you do when you receive a bad review? Well, we can tell you, discrediting the person who wrote it is not the answer. Neither is not addressing them at all. Instead, really read and understand what the person wrote. Then, formulate your reply. If a customer is really upset, simply address the issue, apologize, and tell them you’d like to make it right. Leaving this type of review unanswered speaks volumes to the one who left it and to potential new customers. Consider this, 90% of customers who leave a negative review will give a business another chance if they respond in an apologetic and kind manner. So, try not to look at “ugly” reviews as such a bad thing. There are always ways to redeem yourself and your business if you just open up the lines of communication.

The Value of Well-Managed Reviews

The development of online reviews has done amazing things for small businesses. Before, there were limited ways for new businesses to gain credibility in their community. Most of the time, small businesses relied heavily on word of mouth. With online reviews, this allows businesses to gain trust and build brand loyalty in a different way. It’s taken “word of mouth” to a new level that can really help increase visibility and grow your reputation.

We hope we’ve been able to help you understand the value of well-managed reviews. Check back soon for more useful tips on how to leverage your small business in a big world of competition. If you need help managing certain aspects of your small business or you’d like to know more about the services ARK Marketing has to offer, email us or comment below! Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for industry news, inspiration, and helpful tidbits for finding small business success.



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