This article is a repost of an article I wrote for Beauty and Salons niche. However, anyone who has a local small business can benefit from this article.
Here’s a quick quiz…
Question 1: True or false: Yelp and other online review sites will damage your business reputation so you should not setup an account on those directory and review sites.
Question 2: True or false: If all things are equal would the business that has negative reviews automatically get less clients then the business that has only positive reviews?
Question 3: True or false: Never ever respond to a negative review because it would make the business owner seem defensive.
If you answered false to at least the first two questions, then I must say you are doing “Big Things” — you definitely know quite a bit about online reviews and how they really work in your favor.
However, if you got even one wrong, then there’s still more for you to learn. If you got two wrong then you definitely want to keep reading as you’re about to learn the real truth about online reviews and how to make them work in your favor.
Are you ready? Lets talk about it …
One of the greater benefits of an online review site and as it is affectionally called, citations … lol I know that sounds bad because who wants a citation.
It is actually a great thing. It means that these sites rank very high on Google. Try doing a search for Hair Salons, Barbers or Hair Stylists and plug in your area of choice. You would find them all over the first page and if you did not know I can tell you that businesses on the first page get most of the traffic, but no worries, there are plenty of other phrases to rank for.
Now that we figured out that being on these sites can possibly get you on the first page of Google, especially if your directory or citation listings is properly setup, we want to now tackle the benefits of the reviews.
In this day and time the “New Word Of Mouth” is basically reviews. This is how people talk about you and your business. Now that we figured out that Online Reviews is the “New Word Of Mouth” and if you are in the Beauty or Hair business, Word Of Mouth And Referral marketing was always the primary way of marketing.
NOTHING HAS CHANGED …
But the way its being done has changed. It’s being done via these online review sites and if you are not on these sites, then you are more than likely losing more money and clients than you are if you were on these sites.
In talking about reviews, one is asked the question, “how would negative reviews effect you”. I will get straight to the point… in my opinion, negative reviews are GOOD.
BUT WAIT … Don’t leave, let me explain.
I know you are probably saying “This Dude Is Crazy, how in the world is a negative review Good”. Let me explain. It shows a trust factor. Remember these are online reviews and we both know that some shady business owners will do anything to get clients … albeit doing this is ILLEGAL.
Having a negative review only makes people believe the majority of your positive reviews are trustworthy.
Here is an excerpt taken from Forbes
In fact, the study found that polite but negative reviews could improve the way a customer views your products and services.
1. Don’t live in fear of negative reviews. Be willing to allow customers to leave reviews on your website and on your social media accounts. Don’t delete reviews because they’re negative. Instead, keep in mind that a few negative reviews can make your business look better in the long run.
If you made it this far, you now understand how important having your information on a review site or directory site is.
Okay now if I still have your attention and you agree that negative reviews may be good for your business, how do you handle negative reviews.
I am asked this question all the time when I tell clients of mine that they need to be on these review sites. Some give me that ugly screw face look.
There are two school of thoughts. One is don’t respond to negative reviews, but mine is that you should definitely respond but never in a defensive way nor when you are emotional about the review, please wait.
1. Respond Appropriately
Reading a negative comment about your business, your employees, or your products or services can make you want to justify yourself and claim that the commenter is just plain wrong, misinformed or simply off-the-mark. While these are natural reactions, they won’t help your brand or your social media presence.
In closing Online Reviews is the new “Word Of Mouth”. If you are planning on building your business, it is definitely something you would want to have in your marketing practice.