Don’t Let the Internet “Bad Mouth” Your Business

July 1, 2014

Sales-killing reviews could be impacting your business growth and damaging your reputation in the marketplace.

Many recent online surveys show the majority of U.S. shoppers turn to the Internet for help when making buying decisions, or to find a retailer that fits their needs. Many of these consumers check internet “ratings,” which may influence their purchasing decisions.

A bad review that has gone unanswered by you can discourage consumers from visiting your store and hurt the growth of your business. Ask yourself, would you visit a store with a bunch of bad reviews. You would probably continue your search until you found a business with better reviews.

Even if you run an excellent operation, consumers come with all kinds of expectations and one wrong word can sometimes set them off. Negative ratings are more prevalent than positive ones because a bad experience, whether perceived or real, will motivate the consumer to take their time and energy to warn fellow shoppers, or to “get it off their chest.”

With that in mind, what have you done to protect your business from a bad review? Does your store have sales-killing negative reviews stunting the growth of your business?

There are simple ways to turn negative, sales-killing reviews around, and actually make them work for you, rather than against you.

Google will generally show your website link first when a consumer types in your store name. Along with that information, it is likely there will be links to other informational systems. If you haven’t Googled your store lately, then you are risking your store’s good name and possibly sending customers away. See what consumers are saying about your business. Even if you have no reviews, it’s worth your time to Google your business at least once a month to see if there are any bad reviews. Also, as the business owner, you can enter information about your store on these review sites such as hours of operation, or special services, and, in some cases, even pictures of your storefront and interior. It’s all free and will help drive business to your store.

If you receive a bad review at one of these informational sites, respond to it, even if you disagree, or think the original poster will not look back at the site for a response. State that you are concerned about their issue with your company and that you are prepared to correct the problem or offer compensation. Even if you never hear from the complainant again, future consumers will see your response and be reassured by it.

By responding politely and showing you are concerned, the complainant may follow up the review stating you have corrected the issue to their satisfaction. At the very least, you will have negated the bad review and turned it into something positive in the eyes of future viewers.

Today, with the new updated Facebook business pages, you can show Google star-rated reviews on your page by using a Facebook app. Because Facebook is currently so popular, you can increase your business just by adding that feature to your page. Your Facebook page will show up close to the top of any Google search results, and when clicked on by consumers, it allows them to see more than just reviews, but also information about your store. Hopefully, you are uploading pictures of your store and its interior and offering information about events and programs. Uploading cute dog pictures is OK but shouldn’t be the main theme of your Facebook business page. This is a good opportunity to tell your story, so don’t waste it.

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