The digital revolution continues for SMBs via consumer reviews!
Back in the day if you had a critic come into your business who works for a newspaper or magazine, they would come and write a review, good or bad. Nowadays, the consumer relies on what other consumers say thanks to online reputation.
Sites such as Yelp, Yahoo! Local, CitySearch and even Google Maps are all keeping tabs on how well a business is doing. Twitter and Facebook are also very likely talking about your business right now as well.
Should you go look to see what others are saying on here? Of course you should!
Consumer Reviews Are The Norm
These days even the smallest business is being critiqued and reviewed by the customers that walk through their doors.
Usually consumer reviews are on a 5 star rating system with comments specifically about their experience. This is either going to help your business grow, or put you out of business.
Coming from someone who has always put customer service first you will want to read what people are saying about your business. Take a gander at your consumer reviews on Yelp, see what people are saying.
You can even interact with your customers through comments and private messages
Interact With Your Reviewers
Speaking of interaction with customers I have to hand it to the Taco Bell twitter. They have made for some pretty memorable tweets interacting with their customers, some of which then resonated out to the rest of the Internet.
There was even an incident where a customer complained to the Taco Bell twitter about a harassment at one of their stores and with no joking about it replied with a serious ‘no tolerance to harassment’ response.
What can be learned from this?
Paying attention to what people are saying about this and replying back in a positive manner is a good way to market yourself.
Negative Reviews Warrant An Investigation
Now for businesses who are not good about how they treat their customers, this may spell doom for your business.
When people talk about your business in a negative light, it’s probably because something is legitimately wrong.
The answer is not to ignore it and keep doing what you’re doing. But rather to read what people are saying about your business on these sites and try to fix these issues.
A little customer service goes a long way in staying in the game.
Online Reviews Help Your Business
I’m absolutely all for having these online reputations for businesses. They will make the great places shine and put the not-so great places on the spotlight.
At the end of the day however, actions speak louder than words. Good customer service, interacting with your customers and working towards making your business a better place to visit will give you a positive reputation via consumer reviews.
Do you keep track of your consumer reviews? Have you had to respond to negative reviews? How did you correct the problem? Share your experience in the comments.
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