Your Reviews Are Your Business ‘Credit Score’
Everyone is talking about their personal CREDIT SCORE these days. Managing your credit score (and protecting your information from theft) are on the mind of most consumers.
And yet, business owners don’t realize the devastating effect even a slight dip in their reviews ratings and online reputation can have on their bottom line. And although many business owners are aware of their reviews, and even make an attempt to manage them by responding to their reviews, there are other more sinister dangers in the overall review landscape.
57% of consumers recently surveyed said they would most likely NOT patronize a business with a review average of LOWER THAN 4.0 STARS. Let’s think about that for a moment. It means that despite all of your advertising, optimization on search, time in business and your entire investment, if you neglect your reviews over half of your potential new customers will quietly pass you by…without your ever knowing about it!
You wouldn’t even think about applying for a loan or new credit card if you KNEW that your credit score was in the tank. You also know that poor credit can hold you back from everything from getting car insurance to renting an apartment. And yet, many business owners just don’t (or don’t know how) to address and manage their review ratings to insure the future success of their business.
When a bad review is left by a legitimate customer, usually a proactive business owner will respond to the review and offer a remedy. Perhaps a full or partial refund, a free meal, or other compensation for the ‘injured party’. This is an excellent practice and we encourage our clients to take these first most important steps to resolve a legit bad review. No matter the outcome with the individual who left the negative review, the review remains and is a factor in degrading the overall rating of the business. We combat this with Review Control™ tools to request and obtain many more positive reviews, thereby diluting the effect of a bad review should one occur. BUT the simple fact is that the person who left the negative review always has the option to edit, update, upgrade, or even delete the original review. When handled properly and with some diplomacy, many consumers (who left the bad review in the heat of the moment and made a decision when they were angry) can be reasoned with. Once they understand how damaging their negative review was, in retrospect, sometimes they can be persuaded to edit or remove the review.
The key to a properly managed online reputation is to ENGAGE with all of your customers, request reviews as part of the overall customer experience and build and maintain a high rating. Up until now this was very difficult for most small business owners. But with Review Control™ tools and support, this is achievable with a minimum of expense and effort.