Make online reviews work for you
Online reviews are important
Basics of online reviews
The basics of online reviews are simple.
- People buy a service or product from your business.
- Satisfied and dissatisfied customers then leave reviews online about their buying experience.
- You (the business) responds to reviews
- Potential buyers of your service or product search for and read past reviews.
- Potential customers decide whether to buy from you partly based on those reviews
Replying to reviews
Although most business owners will agree that reviews are important, many will not consider answering reviews a task worth doing.
There are two things to consider about answering online reviews.
- Answering reviews shows you care. If there was only one rule about answering reviews it would be Do It! By answering all reviews you will gain trust and show that you care. People leaving good reviews have taken the time to leave a review for your business. They didn’t need to leave a review. After all it isn’t really benefiting them in any way. But people appreciate good service and want to spread the word. Likewise people who did not receive good service often feel it is their responsibility to tell others about the poor service they received. They often feel it is their duty to warn others
- Opportunity to add keywords. You are probably already aware that keywords are important if you want to get found in search engines. The same principle applies to keywords in reviews and responses to reviews. When answering a poor review it is best not to include keywords as these help the poor review be found in searches. Use good keywords when responding to good reviews
Replying to a good review with “Thank you for your review, we appreciate it” is good but you could use this opportunity to help search engines find the good review. Instead you could respond by saying the following. “Thank you for your great review. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay at (name of your hotel) in beautiful Devon. Making sure your bags are delivered promptly to your room is something we work hard to achieve and I am glad you found that helpful. We hope to see you again soon and next time you may even consider bringing your swimsuits to take advantage of our state of the art leisure complex within (name of hotel.”
You can see the use of the hotel name, location and some of the services you offer is in the response. This is helpful for search engines
Tips about online reviews
- Be smart about which customers you ask to leave online reviews. Encourage people who are genuinely happy with your service.
- Never ever ask people for fake reviews. Reviews are all about building trust and increasing your company reputation.
- Get your review procedure automated with a reputation management system.
- Post recent reviews with 4 or 5 star ratings on your website.
- Don’t panic over bad reviews. Answer then professionally and polity. Use the opportunity for your company to consider if the reviewer is making a valid point.