Consumer reviews are easier to make and access than ever before. There was a time when you actually had to talk to someone, or talk to someone who talked to someone else who was willing to tell you what they thought. Then, when business websites came on the scene, there was sometimes an option to leave a review, but since the business had control of the site, it was never truly known if they published all reviews or only the good ones. Today, there are multiple ways a consumer can leave a review without that fear, and business owners have to be aware of what is being said, how it affect their business, and handle each review appropriately.
So Many Options
Websites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, are related to consumer reviews. Reviews can also be left on Google or Yahoo, so that they show up with your business in the search engine. In addition, customers have the ability to leave reviews on your Facebook page. This may be a formal review, or it can simply be a comment on the page about their experience. Though keeping track of all of these can be overwhelming, the true trick is keeping up with all the other options. Personal pages can be used to comment on a business as well, and unless they tag the business there is really no way to be sure you know. In addition, local Facebook groups work much the same way, with customers voicing their opinion on your business to what could be a large, relevant group, and the only way to know is to check the group often.
With so many options, it is no surprise that more and more people check out consumer reviews before trying a new business. Sometimes all it takes is to see very few stars next to the business name after a search or on Facebook to ensure they will never try it. Unfortunately the opposite is not proportionately true. While bad reviews will almost certainly guarantee someone does not try your business, good reviews does not guarantee they will. However, good reviews do ensure a fighting chance. Too many bad reviews can kill a business.
Related Article: What if My Restaurant Has Bad Yelp Reviews?
Respond, Respond, Respond
Occasionally bad reviews will come. How you handle this can make all the difference in the world. Stay on top of consumer reviews, respond to them, and make things right, which sometimes means more than an apology. While it would be fabulous for all unhappy customers to give you the chance to fix things immediately, often this does not happen. Thanking consumers for good reviews, apologizing for issues causing bad reviews, and offering to make it right if given a second chance can go a long way not only with the one customer, but also with those reading the reviews.
Tracking and responding to reviews takes time, and time is money. Often help is needed to stay on top of it. Whether you need more working capital for this type of expense, a small business loan to expand your business, or some other type of small business financing, Biz2Credit has your back.