Top Tip for Small Businesses – Always respond to online reviews

I can hear some business owners now saying that this is not important to them and these keyboard warriors can take a hike! It is easy to understand why this is a completely natural reaction but the way the internet is connecting the dots between the different platforms is making it increasingly important to keep on top of online reviews.

Search engines connect with all of the other online platforms where your business exists and can see if you do or don’t respond, it sounds a bit like big brother but it is trying to ensure you are consistent in your approach and therefore rewards you for good work.

I am sure that all businesses strive to give good customer service and it is taking a little time out to ensure that anyone commenting on your service in a positive or negative deserves a response from you to either keep them warm if they are an advocate of yours or to see if you can turn a negative experience around.

Some top tips to help business owners;

  1. Monitor all review sites where your business is and if their not on some then you’re missing out on potential business; Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Yell
  2. Respond to every review or comment about your business
  3. Positive Review – thank them online and even a direct message if possible, this way you can increase your relationship with them so they become you’re advocate to their network
  4. Negative Review – contact them direct if possible and try to understand what happened to them to make them disgruntled to hopefully turn their negative experience into at least a neutral position and it is amazing how many times they can become an advocate of yours because you took some time to actually speak to them. While you’re waiting for their response you can post a public holding comment to their feedback so that other customers can see that you are reaching out to them.
  5. Don’t be generic about your responses, it can be tempting to copy and paste your replies but it can be worse than not responding at all as it looks like only paying lip service.
  6. Keep your responses short and sweet
  7. Tailor your response to their specific issue
  8. Don’t let emotions get the better of you
  9. Don’t offer freebies

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