How online reviews can impact your local business


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How online reviews can impact your local business

  1. 1. By: Adam Dukes 702-530-3881 1Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  2. 2. How Online Customer Reviews Can Impact Your Local BusinessOwning a business is no easy feat; mainly due to the fact that you have toconstantly cater to the needs of your customers. Customer loyalty is one ofthe most important aspects of making a business successful because,without customers, businesses simply wouldn’t exist.Regardless of the type of local business you own, the most important thingyou need is a positive reputation. There are a lot of businesses out therethat gain and lose customers on a daily basis. The loss or the gain ofcustomers largely depends upon the reputation a business has in manycases.The internet has allowed people to become vocal with their opinions aboutjust about everything – including how they feel about companies they dobusiness with.People leave online reviews for the whole world to see about businesses andthe products and services they offer. This is why it is crucial that you stayon top of what is being said about your company online.When it comes to having a positive online presence, your company will reapthe benefits no matter how large or small it is. In other words, everysatisfied customer you have will bring you even more customers.On the flip side, if your online presence contains some negativity, yourbusiness could be critically challenged.Due to the internet, no business can dream of creating a positive image foritself unless most of their customers are happy. Local business owners arestill adapting to the concept of “online reputation management.” However, itis becoming more and more apparent that in order to make a name for yourcompany in your local area, you have to receive beneficial online feedbackfrom your local customers.People turn to the internet when it comes to finding local businesses thathave products and services they need. If your business has receivedpositive customer reviews from your local customers, then other people willread those reviews and become interested in buying your services andproducts as well. 2Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  3. 3. All feedback should be welcome as long as it is legit. Getting feedback fromyour unhappy customers is just as important. Receiving negative feedbackwill allow you to improve the operations of your business and correct theshortcomings it may have. Honest customer reviews will provide you withsome real insight regarding your products and services, as well as yourcustomer service.When it comes to local business, valuable customer reviews play animportant part in local online marketing. We all know that the internet hasbecome an important source when people want information. When searchingfor a service or a product, people make use of search engines. These searchengines display different links. Most people usually stop at the results nearthe top of the page.By receiving online customer reviews on your site or in other directories, youwill be able to rank higher in the search engine results. The more reviewsyou have, the more people can learn about your business through theinternet.Furthermore, a nice amount of customer reviews can also help put yourpotential customers at ease. It’s comforting to see that other people in yourarea have dealt with a business before you decide to give them a try.As mentioned above, the advent of the internet and other social mediatechnology has made it easy for consumers to share their thoughts aboutcompanies. Some local business owners might be afraid of this developmentbecause it gives consumers the power to say whatever they want about abusiness and it’s posted for the whole world to see.However, if business owners take the initiative to monitor the top channels,then they can transform everything into positive advertising.When people see advertisements on television, in newspapers or listen tothem on the radio, they know that these advertisements are paid by thebusiness itself; and that’s why they portray such a positive image.However, most people today are more interested in knowing about personalopinions that aren’t biased, which is why they turn to online reviews first tofind the information they seek. 3Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  4. 4. Online reviews are written by real people that potential customers can relateto. This is why consumers are more influenced by online customer reviewsthan by advertisements they see all around them.According to a study (, the most trusted forms of advertising are therecommendations made by other people, followed by the customer reviewsposted online. This study was conducted a few years ago, and the trend stillhasn’t changed. People strongly take online reviews into account when theywant to make a ‘buying’ decision. That’s why you need to receive customerreviews and fully manage your reputation online.You can think of every customer as a brand ambassador who can expresspositive or negative opinions about your business. That’s why customersatisfaction should be among your top priorities.However, if someone has a negative opinion about your business, then youneed to reach out to him or her and resolve the issue they have. Feedback isvery important to know how well your business is catering to the needs ofyour customers and what can be improved.In the business world, reputation is everything. If you have a positivereputation, then you will be able to attract customers. But if there’snegativity surrounding your company, and you are unable or unwilling to doanything about it, then people won’t be interested in doing business withyou.According to the findings of the Local Consumer Review Survey 2012(, it was reported thatthere’s a positive shift in the number of people who trust and appreciate thereviews that are posted online for them to read.In the survey, consumers were asked about the thing they trusted the mostwhen making a decision to buy something. 72% of the consumers said thatthey trusted online customer reviews as much as they trusted personalrecommendations. 52% of the consumers said that positive online customerreviews urges them to use local businesses.According to the study, 15% of the consumers said that they didn’t use theinternet to find a local business, while 16% said that they used the internet 4Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  5. 5. every week in order to search for a local business. 58% of the consumerstrust businesses having a positive online presence and 52% of theconsumers are likely to refer a local business based on the positive reviewsposted online.How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave Online ReviewsDue to the fact that most consumers say that online reviews help themmake purchasing decisions, you may be wondering how to get yourcustomers to write honest, positive reviews.The amount of reviews your company has counts a lot. Many search engineresults display business links in a descending order when it comes toreviews. This means that the businesses that have more reviews aredisplayed at the top, followed by the ones having fewer reviews.That’s why the more reviews you have, the better. However, you have to beextremely careful in your approach.Businesses who aggressively solicit their customers for reviews can turntheir customers off and could result in receiving some negative reviewsinstead.Also avoid posting fake reviews at all costs. There are a lot of companies outthere that post fake reviews on their sites in order to fool their customers.Fake reviews won’t get you very far and many of your potential customerscan spot fake reviews from a mile away.They are more likely to respond to genuine, valid reviews – even if there area few negative ones in there, which is to be expected. No one is perfect.There are a lot of ways you can encourage your customers to write honestreviews of your services or products …Here are some quick tips that will help you get more reviews from yourcustomers: • Make it EASY for Your Customers to Write Reviews If you really want your customers to leave reviews for your business, make it easy for them by taking steps to help them do so. For instance, you can provide links to your review pages on your website. 5Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  6. 6. This way, your customers can easily go directly from your website to your review pages and leave reviews. You can even help your customers out by giving them some tips on how to write customer reviews and where they can post them. This is the perfect way to get them started. You can also show the actual reviews and testimonials on your official website, which can also help to encourage others to leave a review. Not only that, but this will also lead to more conversions for your business. If you choose to work with a professional Online Reputation Management company, they will help you market your reviews to their fullest potential. • Ask Customers Who Come Into Your Establishment for Reviews When your customers come into your establishment, be sure to ask them for a review in some form or fashion. For instance, you could ask them on the back of receipts, on menus, or simply have your staff ask for them. Leaving pamphlets or postcards with your customers asking for reviews is another approach that works well. You can also have an “onsite review station” setup in your establishment where your customers can leave reviews for you right on the spot. There’s nothing better than getting a review from a satisfied customer who just purchased from you. • Show Your Customers HOW to Leave Reviews Consumers today are extremely busy; so much so that many still do not take the time out to leave reviews for products and services they love. Not only that, some consumers don’t want to take the time out to figure out where to leave reviews and how to submit them. Therefore, you can help them out by giving them something that will show them how to leave reviews for your business. Doing so could boost your credibility as well as profits. • Ask for Customer Reviews in Your Emails & Direct Mail 6Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  7. 7. If you send out emails via an autoresponder to your customer list, you should ask them to leave reviews for your company from time to time. Many customers may intend to do so, but neglect to do it for some reason or another. So a friendly reminder every now and then is just what you need to get your customers engaged with your business and tell the world how much they love you. The same applies for your direct mail campaigns. Simply reminding consumers that you exist could be enough to urge them to leave a review for your company – especially if you ask them to do so. • Utilize the Power of Social Media Since you’re already connecting with some of your customers via social media, it is the perfect place to ask for reviews and feedback. Customers who are involved in social media like to “socialize” with the businesses they follow. On sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others, it is fairly simple to shoot a message to your audience and many are likely to respond. Therefore, take advantage of this opportunity by asking them for reviews and feedback often. • Encourage Them to Put Their Reviews on Multiple Sites Some of your customers probably leave reviews on one review site, whether it’s Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp or others. However, it always works in your business’s favor to have as many reviews across multiple review platforms as possible. Not only will this increase your online visibility, but it should increase the number of customers coming through your doors. If consumers find that your business has a lot of great feedback on multiple review sites, it will boost your trust and credibility tremendously. 7Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  8. 8. How Negative Reviews Play a Part in Your Struggle to Generate NewCustomersAs stated earlier, having some negative reviews is part of the game. In fact,consumers might begin to suspect something fishy if all they see are good or‘five’ star reviews.No matter how great your products and services are, there will always be atleast one unhappy customer that will leave an online review.The problem is that a lot of business owners ignore negative reviews, whichcan be harmful for your company’s reputation. Not responding could give theindication that you simply do not care about that unhappy customer’sconcern. If you do, show the world that you care by responding to theironline complaint in a positive manner.If you receive a negative review, do not argue with the reviewer. Yes, anegative review can decrease your online reputation. However, you will onlymake it worse by picking a fight with the reviewer. Arguing with an unhappycustomer may lead to them spreading even more negativity about y ourcompany, which leads to even more chaos.On the other hand, giving a positive response shows that you are open tocriticism, willing to hear what the reviewer has to say, and willing to correctthe problem. By responding in a positive manner, you will also encouragepositivity from other customers.How to Build and Maintain a Positive Online ReputationEvery local business owner wants to receive as many customers as possible.In order for you to attract potential clients, you need to make sure that yourbusiness has a positive reputation. We all know that the internet has allowedpeople to share their thoughts with almost everyone around the globe.People make use of internet search engines when they want to decide aboutbuying a product or service. A lot of businesses run advertisements in orderto attract potential customers and attempt to create a positive reputation. 8Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  9. 9. However, trends have shown that potential customers are more influencedby what other people have to say about a business and therecommendations they make.The internet has become ‘social’ and that’s why everyone is interested insharing their opinions. They might write an online review on a review site, orthey might voice their opinions on various social-networking sites.Just as your customers are utilizing the internet to voice their opinions, yourbusiness has to make use of the internet in order to build and maintain agreat online reputation.Simply put, the more positive your reputation, the more potential customersyou will be able to attract.Here are some tips about how you can build and maintain a positive onlinereputation: 1. Monitoring the Customer Review sites You can think of customer review sites as “local directories” that enable people to express their opinions regarding various businesses present in the directories. People utilize these directories to find businesses that are able to provide them with the products or services they want. They can browse through the various businesses and many make their decisions based on the customer reviews. Some of the sites that are key players include: Yelp!, Google Local, City Search and Yahoo Local. There are also directories that only cater to specific business industries like local restaurants, dentists, lawyers, etc. Being an active part of these sites can help you build a positive reputation. Some of the things you can do in order make use of these review sites are: • Register Your Business First thing first, you need to create accounts on the most popular local review sites and directories so your business can be included in the listings. 9Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  10. 10. If you find that your business is already present in the listings, you still have some work to do. Some directory listings post incorrect information about businesses, which could impact your visibility. Therefore, you have to take control of your listings by completing them, claiming them, and verifying them. Make sure your profiles are completely filled out with accurate information, add images to your profile, and add any additional beneficial links that can attract potential customers. • Respond to Reviews As stated earlier, don’t start to panic if you happen to find a negative review regarding your business on these review sites. People have a right to their opinions and all we can do is respect them. The best thing to do is try to handle the situation in a proper, positive manner. If the complaint is legit, be sure to post how you plan to correct it. • Form a Bond with Customers Not only is it important to respond to negative reviews; it’s equally important to respond to positive reviews. Doing so creates somewhat of a “bond” with your happy customers and will keep them coming back. Responding to positive reviews also shows consumers that you really do care about what your customers think and are grateful for their feedback. • Monitor and Keep Track of What is Being Said In order to see when and where people mention your business, you need to monitor everything. There are many ways to monitor what is being said about your business. You can simply “Google” your business’s name or you can even set up alerts. With alerts, you will be able to monitor when someone writes a review on a site or mentions you online. By knowing about the reviews that people write online, you will be able to reach out to those reviewers and interact with them 10Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  11. 11. immediately. If someone writes a negative review online, you will be able to resolve the issue quickly with them. 2. Blogging Creating a blog can also help you build a positive online reputation. By creating a blog you can provide more information about your company to your customers. You can share images and other types of useful content and information with your customers. Having a blog will also allow you to provide a place where your customers can ask questions, and you can provide them with the answers relating to your business. You can provide links to positive reviews written by customers on other sites. Updating your blog consistently will also help your business to rank high in search engine results. 3. Creating Positive Content The internet search engines are the key players you should know about when it comes to managing your online image. When consumers perform searches for local products and services, the results presented at the top of search engine results receive more traffic, and that’s why your business needs to rank high. The more frequent, unique content, the higher you will rank. This is why it is critical that you create positive content about your business consistently and make it rank high in the search engine results.Different sources like customer review sites, social-networking sites andblogs can help you build a positive reputation for your business. However,your work won’t end here.Even if you use these sources in order to build a positive reputation for yourbusiness, you will need to work hard in order to maintain it. The biggestchallenge which you will have to face is the negative online reviews you willreceive. A negative review can come as a shock to most business owners.However, it happens to a lot of businesses, so there’s no reason to becomeupset by it. By remaining calm you will be able to respond to negativereviews in a proper manner. 11Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  12. 12. When it comes to maintaining a positive reputation, the manner you reply toyour customer is very important. If you are able to show your customersthat you value their opinions, and you are able to provide them with asincere reply, it will be very beneficial for your business.The most important thing you need to keep in mind is to always think of thefuture. Before you do something, stop for a second and access how such anaction will help your business. Will it be beneficial for you in the long run?Taking part in customer review sites, social-networking sites or creating ablog might not benefit you immediately. However, all of these things willhelp you in the time to come. You will be able to build a positive reputationfor your business. By working hard and monitoring what customers sayabout your business and replying to them in an appropriate manner, you willbe able to maintain a positive reputation online for your local business.ConclusionThough all of this might seem easy to do, making use of all the sources in aproper and effective manner is not easy. The internet is vast, and that’s whyit needs to be used effectively in order to develop a positive presence of yourlocal business.By receiving positive online customer reviews, the reputation of yourcompany can flourish. It will tell potential customers that other people preferyour business over your competition and this will lead to an increase in salesconversions.Monitoring the top channels and keeping track of the customers who leavereviews requires practice and expertise. That’s why if you want to make surethat your business is being promoted in an effective manner on the internet;you need to make use of an effective online reputation management service.Our Online Reputation Management Services are able to provide your localbusiness with everything it needs in order to make sure that it’s beingrepresented on the internet in the most positive manner.Our team, of highly efficient professionals, is able to make sure that yourlocal business ranks high when people search for local businesses.Contact me today at 702-530-3881 or a free, no-obligation consultation ifyour online reputation could use some help. 12Social Sinergy 702-530-3881
  13. 13. I look forward to speaking with you.Adam Dukes702-530-3881Social Sinergy 13Social Sinergy 702-530-3881