The way we interact with businesses has changed dramatically this year, especially with SMEs. The Skyzack team has been shopping online instead of in stores, ordering takeaways instead of dining out, checking online for COVID safety updates and more. If you own a small, local business, it’s likely you’ve had to increase your online presence. You may have used the internet to offer new services, keep in touch with customers and clients, or even to start from scratch. We recently talked about how important business online presence is in 2020, and in this blog, we’ll be looking at the value of online reviews. (You can give our previous blog a read here first!)

Social Proof:

Skyzack’s Google reviews October 2020

Here at Skyzack, we know that the customer experience often begins online. One of the first things people will do is ‘Google’ your business to find reviews (along with websites, social media and other info). For many, social proof makes a huge difference in purchasing habits and therefore no reviews can be as off-putting as bad ones, if not worse. They can also improve your brand’s identity and credibility, as people trust in other’s experiences. Essentially, they are the modern-day ‘word-of-mouth’, and in a world of social distancing, more important than ever.

Reach & SEO:

Reviews can also improve your online visibility and SEO, meaning that your business can reach a wider audience. Online algorithms value fresh content, and frequent customer reviews are a simple yet effective tool for this. They also demonstrate authenticity, expertise and customer trust to search engines which can make your business rank higher in organic and local search results.

John Douglas Menswear Facebook review September 2020

Happy customers are also likely to engage on multiple platforms, from TripAdvisor to Instagram, meaning that the conversation about your brand spreads even further!

Dealing with ‘bad’ reviews:

Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world, but it depends on how you react to them. Online reviews are a great way of getting honest, direct feedback and it’s important to take all opinions and experiences into account. In fact, the occasional 3-star review can actually help to build trust, as it makes your business appear more genuine.

Our tips:

  • Don’t ignore it! Responding as quickly as possible to any review shows professionalism, consistency and care.
  • Write like a person, but keep it professional. Avoid generic, ‘copy and paste’ replies and write how you would speak with them in person.
  • Focus on/start with the positives! Thank them for visiting your business, writing a review etc. before addressing any problems.
  • Admit your mistakes but correct inaccuracies (politely!).
  • Contact the person privately if possible/necessary e.g. a phone call or private message to resolve any issues.
  • Encourage more positive reviews! The good should outweigh the bad.

How to get more reviews:

  • Promote on social media by sharing positive feedback, photos etc. and share the link to your preferred review platform.
  • Ask customers and clients directly using feedback postcards or, where relevant, follow-up email marketing.
  • Be active! Interacting with your reviews can encourage others to leave them, as it reassures people that their opinions are valued and won’t be ignored.

We can help!

Our dedicated team at Skyzack can take the time and effort out of managing online reviews. If you’d like help or advice with yours, please feel free to get in touch through our contact form or call us on 01625 574111.