Do you know what’s being
said about your store online?
Learn how to navigate the
sometimes turbulent waters
of online reviews.
Jeff Quipp is the founder and CEO of Search
Engine People, Canada’s largest digital marketing
firm. www.searchenginepeople.com. Follow Jeff
on Twitter at @jquipp.
Jeff Quipp discusses the
issues and opportunities
of online review sites
RECOMMENDATIONS AND word-of-mouth
have always been important to small businesses, helping them stand out from large
chains and gain new customers. Today, this
system of trust-based recommendations
has transferred online with sites like
Google+ Local, Yahoo and Yellow Pages
providing consumers with a medium for
writing reviews about stores and giving
store owners insight into the experiences
Ratings, reviews and comments can
make or break a business. This is true for
all businesses, but even more so for smaller
retailers who rely on sustaining customer
loyalty. Online review sites are increasingly
becoming the source people go to in order
to make decisions on where to shop. In
fact, 90 per cent of consumers claim online
reviews influence their buying decisions.*
With online reviews consumers can
judge what their experience will be like by
looking at those of others. If you have a
number of positive reviews, people will
deduce that you provide an excellent expe-
rience. On the other hand, if the majority
of people provide unfavourable reviews,
people will likely avoid your store.
Here are a few tips on how to approach
1. Respond Positively. Unfavourable reviews
should be looked at as opportunities.
People are more likely to make judgments
on how you respond to the complaint,
rather than the complaint itself.
Complaints give you an opportunity to
win over the reviewer and show other
potential customers that customer satisfaction is a priority.
2. Never create or solicit fake reviews.
Revie w sites don’t like when companies try
to game the system. If you get caught doing
this, consumers know and it completely
3. Encourage legitimate online reviews.
If you want to increase the number of
your online reviews, just ask your customers if they would be willing to provide a
testimonial or review.
Today, genuine online reviews matter
tremendously. While not every review will
be positive, if you take the right approach,
online reviews can serve to not only improve the perception of your business, but
to also increase sales.
*Customer Service and Business Results Survey
completed by Dimensional Research on behalf