There is no doubt that the way in which we buy products and services has changed so much over the last 30 years. We can look up tons of information (including prices), shop right from our computer, tablet or phone in minutes instead of hours or days.
According to a recent survey from Software Advice, online reviews are more important than ever:
- 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a service provider with higher ratings and better online reviews.
- 68% of online shoppers decide on a service provider based on online reviews that are either extremely or very valuable.
- The leading factors for online reviews are quality and cost.
- 56% of respondents say they used online resources to find their most recent residential service.
- 74% of consumers use Yelp when weighing residential service providers.
While getting positive reviews is great, the biggest question is what do you do when you receive a negative review? Your most unhappy customers can be the most vocal.The most important thing you can do is to respond to it, but first you need to know where to find your reviews:
Negative reviews can be a blessing in disguise. As Bill Gates once said: "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
Find out what people are thinking about you, go where they are posting.
On Your Social Media Profiles
Depending on your business, there could be dozens if not hundreds of places where your products or services are being reviewed, it can easily become overwhelming.
Start with your social media profiles, as these accounts have a high probability of being looked at by both prospective and current clients. Besides Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like, make sure you also check out Google. You might have a Google+ Page, Google Business Local or Google For Business page, with reviews, that you might not even know about!
Check Your Referral Traffic
Using your analytics software (such as Google Analytics), see what sites are referring traffic to your site. Most likely, you will have directory and review sites, such as Yelp or FourSquare, linking to you.
You should go to all of these sites and at the least set up a professional profile for your business with updated information. A lot of these sites might require you to pay to show more information, put pictures or videos in etc. If you are going to pay for any of them, choose the one that either gets you the most traffic or most conversions to customers, if you are tracking that.
Google Yourself To Find Reviews
Go ahead and Google "your company name/product reviews" or something similar. Since this is most likely how your potential clients are finding your reviews on you, you will see what they are looking at.
Pro Tip: Also do this search in an "incognito" window, so you'll get less personalized results.
Set Up Google Alerts
Last but not least, put your company name, including all variations into a Google alert and Google will tell you when your company name is posted somewhere on the web. This is not foolproof though since if the website you are mentioned can't be accessed by Google, i.e. login/password protected than Google won't be able to see it and tell you.
Managing Your Accounts
Now that you've discovered most of the places that you can be mentioned in, how are you going to manage and respond to all of them? You can use Yext which is a paid service that lets you manage your accounts on 55+ directory/social networks. You can scan yourself here to see which ones you show up in, control your information, and even see and respond to reviews in a lot of them.