How to get positive reviews online

How to get positive reviews online

The court of public opinion has always been an extremely powerful place. Now, with the popularization of social media, we’ve watched the number of jurors grow at an exponential rate. The jury used to be made up of neighbors, friends, relatives and coworkers – people you talked to regularly whose opinion you trusted.

Frank down the street – you know, the guy on my bowling team with the wonky eye – says that the new restaurant near work is no good. He ordered the lobster tail and said the thing was smaller than his thumb.

Frank is a “someone” in this hypothetical speaker’s world. The speaker would say, probably with some gusto, that he knows the new restaurant stinks because Frank said so. Yes, that Frank.

But social media has made it so everyone is a “someone.” Literally, any stranger with a Facebook profile can review a business and people will give that stranger’s appraisal the same amount of credence they would afford their own mother.

Business owners are understandably reluctant to embrace this state of being. The prospect of a disgruntled ex-employee or internet troll delegitimizing your establishment with the swing of their little gavel, or more accurately, the click of a mouse, is kind of scary.

Why business owners should embrace reviews

Positive reviews can do great things for your company and negative reviews can really hurt you.

For instance, this study from Zendesk showed that 90% of participating consumers reported that online reviews regularly help them make purchasing decisions.

The fact is, there’s always going to be a customer who’s unhappy, no matter what you do. You can cart-out the dog and pony show for these types of people and they’ll find something wrong with the dog, the pony, and the brand of soap you have in the bathroom.

The natural instinct for many business owners is to simply ignore the reviews. In theory, it makes perfect sense. Why validate these anonymous critics, while other people are perfectly happy with your service and products?

In short, ignoring reviews will do nothing but highlight areas of weakness in your business without giving you a chance to respond or improve.

It can be hard to take criticism, especially as a business owner. However, you can’t possibly be everywhere and a bad review might open your eyes to a problem that you didn’t know existed. By taking the time to read and respond to reviews you can head off any potential problems and make things right with unhappy customers. Even a simple “we hope you’ll give us another try” shows that you are a responsive and engaged business owner, which will help future customers know that you take pride in your business.

As long as there are reviews online, you can bet that there will be negative ones too. You can bury your head in the sand and pretend they don’t exist, or you can do something about it. You never know, today’s bad review could turn into tomorrow’s most loyal customer with the right touch.