Customer reviews and social network reputation are a massive part of the web now and are critical for all businesses. They’re especially vital for local businesses given their sheer prominence in local search results. An online review is nothing but a written sentiment that is left directly by a customer on any website that supports and ranks customer feedback. The major review platforms are Google and Facebook, but there are numerous other options that may be specific to your business, industry or geographical location.
Simply put, reviews represent an ongoing conversation your customers are having about your business on the web. This can be worrisome, especially if it involves negative feedback since you don’t have any control over this discussion about your brand. But, don’t worry! Even if the reviews are not all that great, you can still take significant action to both, influence and contribute to building an ever-lasting and positive reputation your business wants to earn.
Understanding Local SEO
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a very effective way to market your business locally. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers, as well as tourists, at the exact time they’re looking for them online. This is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which differ greatly from what’s practiced in standard SEO, and some of which are far easier to manage using a local SEO tool.
One of the tools for putting your business on the local SEO map is with the help of customer reviews and social media reputation. When someone types a search query, which typically includes a service or product, Google provides the searcher with business suggestions or lists based on customer reviews and location prevalence. In other words, user reviews literally put you on the map!
User Reviews and Their Impact on Local SEO
Reviews can make or break a business. They have the power to provide people with reassurance and confirmation that their actions are the right ones. For example, if you’re planning on visiting an amusement park for the first time, seeing an average review rating of 4 stars, or reading positive reviews may provide that extra push you need to make your decision.
For local searches, an average score of 4.6 from numerous reviews looks like a safe choice and compels the customer to make a decision to avail this service or visit this facility. Local search engines are biased towards customer reviews because it is a good way to provide authentic information about a local service or product and help others make decisions based on them.
Crafting a Review Acquisition Strategy
Now that you know that customer reviews are crucial to help your business grow, it’s time we look at putting them to good use.
Use the Right Review Websites
Before you think of revamping or paying heed to some negative review, you need to create a review acquisition strategy that works best for your local business. Put some thought into which review websites and platforms would work best for you.
To determine this, simply start by going to Google and doing the following search, “[Your Industry] + reviews” and see which sites pop-up on the first page. For example, have a look at what shows up for “restaurant reviews”:
One thing you have to keep in mind when it comes to online review platforms is that sometimes their reviews are exclusive to their site. However, there is an option of syndication through which these reviews will show up on other search engines as well.
Tips to Get Customer Reviews
Once you’ve put yourself out there, it’s time to start getting reviews from your customers. Here’s what you can do for Guest Experience Management:
- Link to your review profiles on your e-commerce website.
- Create print materials that list all the different sites where customers can review you.
- Use a tab or display a step-by-step marker of user experience to generate an authentic customer review.
- Train your staff and yourself to politely ask customers for a review rating on Google or any other review platform.
Online Reputation Management
Managing your reputation online is integral once you’ve gotten customers to offer their feedback through reviews. At Tatvam, we acknowledge the importance of consumer reviews. That’s why we’ve devised a review management platform with the help of a sentiment analyzer that focuses on visitor experience and integrates it to give you a drill-down of your customers’ journeys.
Consumer reviews can make or break your business. It is crucial for you to gauge the good from the bad when you have to manually filter out your customers’ comments and reviews. But the Tatvam sentiment analyzer will help you automatically filter the good and bad reviews and help in addressing them.
Next time you see a negative review, you don’t have to get riled up. Tatvam sentiment analyzer will take care of this for you. After all, negative reviews should be considered as catalysts for action improvement. Each criticism is an opportunity to get to the bottom of any potential pitfalls in your existing operations.
Take it with a pinch of salt because listening to your customers’ feedback can help you meet their needs better and earn their loyalty in the long run.
Need help to improve online reputation management for your business? Contact us at Tatvam, and we will get in touch with you immediately.
Tim works as the VP of Sales and Marketing at NetServ Applications and oversees the development and client relationships for NetServs’ proprietary product Tatvam. Tatvam is a Customer Feedback Analytics product that leverages technologies like Machine Learning and AI to help companies monitor and improve their customer experience. Tim both manages the product log and the development teams to ensure they are consistently innovating and delivering a true value-add product, as well as continuously works with Tatvam customers to help them improve their data strategies and customer experiences.