“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” The internet was never told this by its mother: instead, it offers users every opportunity to let the world know what they think on every conceivable topic, often vocally and negatively.
This poses real challenges to businesses: somewhere on the internet, it’s likely that someone is talking about you, your product or your service … and it’s not always positive (though of course it should be!). Social media is one great way to join in these conversations and help turn negative impressions into positive ones by engaging sensibly and helpfully with criticisms. But what about more static sites, where once a review is posted it’s there for all to see?
You know the sort of site we mean: in the hospitality industry, TripAdvisor is hugely powerful, its crowd-sourced star ratings of hotels and restaurants potentially influencing the leisure choices of millions; the Google network, too, is populating itself with reviews of every kind, encouraging uses with a Google+ account to offer their opinions on every business with which they have a relationship.
These reviews matter because we trust other people more than we trust advertisers: peer reviews have an air of authenticity, and often appear to have no axe to grind bar a desire to present others with an honest assessment of a given company or organisation. That sort of authority can be powerful.
For example, research shows that a low review rating on Google Places will lead to users clicking through to the ‘People also searched for’ page … and finding a competitor with a higher rating instead. Google is no longer referencing third-party sites – so the reviews given by its users are more important than ever to your Google ranking and your click-rate.
It’s worth monitoring your rating, then. When one of our clients – which offers a great service – approached us with a Google review rating of less than one out of five, we knew that there had to be a way better to reflect the quality of their offering. The key here is to engage your happy customers: the rare bad experience is always more likely to get us typing a review than any number of great dealings with a trusted company. Your happy clients, though, are your best weapon against rogue review ratings.
That’s why we’ve developed an app which engages a company’s users and prompts them to submit a review to whichever review sites are most important to you: by prompting happy customers to record their good experience, you harness the natural power of doing a good job. Indeed, the client who came to us with a rating of less than one had increased that figure, just a week after beginning to use our app, to nearly four out of five. That’s called getting the crowd to work for you.
Our simple app might not prevent the odd negative review, but what it does do is give all those happy consumers a different bit of homespun advice: if you have something positive to say, why not shout it from the rooftops?
Drop us a line today to have a word with us about how to improve your online review ratings – you really can see benefits immediately.