The True Power of Viral: How Important Are Review Websites?
Let’s welcome back Jane Smith this week. In case you missed out on last week’s blog post, we were following Jane’s decision making and search for her upcoming beach vacation. She was choosing a hotel based on her Google search and a number of review websites. Once Jane chose a hotel, she knew where she was going to be staying and therefore she is ready to pick out some activities and restaurants to fill up her day.
Where does Jane start with her research today?
She knows the location where she is going to be staying, so she will do a few things:
1) Search for activities and restaurants through Google in the city, town or area that she will be staying in.
3) Search the website of the city/town she will be staying in for suggestions.
4) Log on to Tripadvisor.com to read about the top activities in the area, including restaurants.
5) Make a list of places that look appealing and search their Facebook pages for some more reviews
The most important thing to remember here is the reputation of your business, the searchability of finding your business and the appearance of customer service and friendliness is going to be important factors when a consumer is browsing / searching for something to do / some place to eat.
If you are a local business, whether a restaurant, activity, or service provider, you should know all of the review websites out there:
- Google Local
- Angie’s List
- Yahoo Local
- Insider Pages
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Managing your reviews is extremely important. Always strive for positive reviews, but do not bribe or offer incentive for positive reviews. T
his could be unethical.
Politely ask consumers if they had a great experience, would they kindly write a short review about their experience. On the other hand, if you do encounter negative reviews, then make sure you answer these with kindness.
Try not to act on the defensive.
Further inquire so you get a good understanding as to why this person had a negative experience.
And, TAKE ACTION.
Reviews are important so you know where to capitalize the positive aspects of your business and where to make changes to improve based on the negative reviews. This is your consumer feedback.
Do you have any other suggestions about managing your review websites, including your social media profiles? Facebook and Google are two very important places to manage your reviews. Additionally, Google is taking into consideration for your search rankings your reviews on public websites (so, not Angie’s List most likely). This is yet another reason why you should be spending some time each week reading and responding to reviews and taking action.