Have you done a web search for your business lately? Most likely, you’ll discover people talking about your business on various review websites. Having a presence on these review sites equates to the best (free) word of mouth around – so it’s important to be on them! Most companies will get a mixture of positive and negative reviews, and there are useful techniques for responding to both. So, let’s discuss the various review sites you should be on, how to set them up, and how to handle both stellar and not-so-hot comments about your business.
Here are a few of the more well-known review sites. You should go through each to verify your listing and see what’s being said out there about your business:
- Yelp for Business Owners
- Google Places
- Yahoo! Local Listing
- Angie’s List
- Super Pages
- Judy’s Book – this is a paid service
- BBB’s (Better Business Bureau) – this is a paid service
- Facebook Places
Each site will take at about 15-30 minutes to go through; so don’t try to accomplish this all in one day. Start with the most used or relevant and work your way down the list as time permits.
There are also a couple of lesser known or new review sites that can give you more insight into your business:
- Mifft “Private Mobile Feedback” – A new way to provide private negative feedback to businesses.
- Glass Door – A free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies.
How to Claim Your Business
Each of these sites allow you to update your information by claiming your business or listing. You’ll have to prove it’s your business in one of three ways: They give you a pin number by 1) calling your business number, 2) sending a post card to your business address, or 3) via email. You can get more information on how to set up your profiles here.
Updating Your Business’s Info
Once you’ve claimed ownership of your business listing, you can then update any business info. The more information you add, the more easily customers or potential customers will find you. This will also give your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a boost . And that’s a big bonus!
Andrew Shotland of Search Engine Land wrote about 5 common problems with local business listings. Check to make sure your biz isn’t committing these listing sins :
- No listing
- Phone number incorrect or missing
- Website URL missing
- Business name incorrect or missing
- Address incorrect or missing
Potential customers are looking for your business everyday and you could be losing them simply because your businesses info is incorrect. So take the time to update!
Spam Reviews and How to Handle Reviews: Good or Bad
Luckily, certain review sites take out “spam” reviews. Yelp has a filter to make sure all reviews are actually valid. Wondering what Yelp considers a “valid” review? Excellent question! It’s a review that doesn’t come from anyone in your company, by yourself, your competitors, or an advertisement.
If you do get a spam review that’s either completely made up or possibly for another business with a similar name, there’s a way to flag or report the comment and have it taken off your listing.
People are going to give your business good and bad reviews – It’s a fact of life and it happens to the best of us! But being part of the conversation, and trying to resolve the situation could change that customer’s bad experience into a positive one. On some review sites, you do have the option to comment on your reviews. Keep your comments productive and positive and/or offer a free or discounted service to make amends. And make sure to comment on the positive reviews too. Here’s an excellent example
This is a great way of thanking your customers, getting them to come back for more, and sharing holiday specials. It also lets people know you’re listening. After all, people review businesses to be heard.
Now, here is an example of the same pizzeria dealing with a negative review:
Anthony G. at the pizzeria sticks to the facts and provides context that will help others readers judge for themselves whether or not the pizza is overpriced. He closes with an invitation, and his tone is unruffled throughout. It’s important to remember that the key audience is not the original complainer, but the many other people who will read the review. If you can craft a response that puts their minds at ease, you’ve succeeded.
Entrepreneur.com wrote an excellent article on how to handle a bad review. Their tips include keeping your cool, responding diplomatically, and being consistent. We’d also recommend keeping it timely. Anthony G. from this local pizza joint responds to both of these reviews within a day of the reviews being posted.
Managing review sites and comments will take a bit of time, but the results can pay off in the form of new business.
How do you use review sites to get customer insights about your business?
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