What’s the Verdict: Managing Your Online Reviews

“She helped me sell my home in a flash—BEST.AGENT.EVER.”

“He was SO unprofessional. Would not recommend working with him to my worst enemy!”

Thanks to the advent of the internet, we are able to post anything we want about anyone—lies and truth, good and bad.

The long and short of it is that no matter what you do, people can positively or negatively review your product, business, or service, and share this information with millions of people online. For better or worse, our access to information is immediate, and this has forever changed repeat-and-referral-based businesses.

You can do everything in your power to convince someone to takedown a scathing review, but in reality, it is far easier to address negative reviews with an open-minded, positive outlook, and spend your energy making sure that your positive reviews are the center of attention.

First and foremost, you should ask every customer who you are confident had a pleasant experience with you, for a review. Even if just half of this group takes the time to leave you a positive review, this can hopefully outweigh any negative reviews you have online and, in turn, boost your rating.

It’s also imperative to respond to as many reviews as you can, both positive and negative. Sometimes the person leaving a negative review is really just looking for feedback from the business and an ear to voice their grievances. Be that ear. If your response isn’t enough to clear the air, it might at least prevent a future customer from turning away. And, after you provide a response, you can feel free to remove the harsh comments.

Part of responding to your reviews is staying on top of them, which you can do by frequently checking sites like Facebook, Yelp, and the like. Make it a point to check for reviews on this site at least a few times a week—response time is key. No one expects you to respond to their review within minutes, but within a few hours (or at least within a day) is ideal.

It’s important to remember that, even though it might not seem like a crucial part of your business, online reviews and social marketing are one of the most important gateways to success for a modern business. More than 80 percent of people look for reviews online when deciding on a product or service—a percentage that is only increasing.

Don’t underestimate the power of this tool. Instead, use it to your advantage and take control of what people are saying about your business.

Written by Alexa Bricker

Creative writer who believes in the power of a well-told story and helpful content.