Thursday, July 19, 2012

Local Business Review Sites and Reputation Management

Small Business Owners Who Ignore Business Review Sites Risk Loss of Sales and Profits 

Any small business owner who learned the trade from a great mentor or who has read a dozen decent books on the how to run and manage a business knows the old rule:  If you make one customer unhappy they will tell 10 friends, but you need to make 10 customers happy to get one of them to tell one friend.  

And so it goes today with online reputation.  If anything the results are even more disproportionate.  I have clients with pretty decent customer service and lots of daily traffic with almost no reviews on Yelp, Google+, or any of the other online reviewing search engines.  Then again, I have clients with so-so customer service who attract negative reviews and can't understand why. 

If you are a small business owner, put yourself in the shoes of a potential client.  They search the internet and find a list of potential businesses that say they can fill the need of the moment.  As they quickly scan the list of options, the review scores are significantly different.  One company has 50 good to excellent reviews, another has 8 good reviews, and another has 5, but their score is 2 stars.  What would you do? 

It is a critical aspect of any business marketing strategy today to solicit reviews and testimonials.  You must find clients willing to take a few minutes to write up nice things about you on Google+ local so that the reviews show up on Google Places.  You also need to keep track of the comments being made on Google Places and Yelp.  If you see negative comments, you need to respond.  And that response needs to be courteous, engaging, and written with an eye to the idea that it isn't written to the unhappy customer, but to the others who have just read the negative review.

For more on reviews see

What have you done about reviews?  What has worked for you to get more reviews? What are you doing about Reputation Management?

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