You’ve Googled yourself, right? We all have. You’ve typed your name into that box under the rainbow logo, clicked that “Google Search” button and tada! There you are. (Unless your name is Mike Smith or Jennifer Johnson, then you may have a bit of scrolling to do.)
You’re not a giant narcissist, obsessed with seeing your name online. You just want to know how the world, or your ex from high school who you haven’t spoken to in ages, sees you.
And what if you are Jennifer Johnson, and you happen to come across a photo of you, happy as a clam on your wedding day, in your search results? What would you do if you see that photo is linked to a different Jennifer Johnson, who lives across the country and happens to have a police record?
My guess is you’d be online and the phone, making sure your photo, that usually brings back such happy memories, is removed from that site immediately.
Now think about your business. Imagine potential customers associating your life’s work with bad reviews meant for another business with a similar name. Or what if a bad review from two months ago on a site you’ve never even heard of was actually meant for your business and you never responded? Or worse, what if it’s a “fake review” left by one of your competitors to damage your reputation?
Now don’t be mad at Google. Google’s just doing her job. OK, do get mad at your competitor for leaving a fake review. And get even. By taking control of your reviews. How? With review monitoring.
Review monitoring is monitoring what customers are saying about your business on review sites such as TripAdvisor, social media like Facebook, and industry-specific sites like Zocdoc.
Review monitoring can enable you to proactively engage with your customers. Being proactive with your online reviews should be a best practice for businesses of all sizes because:
Review monitoring is important because consumers are far more likely to form their purchasing decisions based on what they see online. Far more people are researching businesses before patronizing it—with a whopping 85% of consumers placing their trust in online reviews.
If you have customers, then the chances of you having reviews are highly likely—even if you don’t have a website. And negative word-of-mouth is poison for a business. But if reviews have the power to break your business, they also have the power to build your business. Leveraging review monitoring harnesses this power so that your business grows with each (good and bad) review. How?
Monitoring your reviews on the big sites like Google, Facebook, and Yellow Pages is a great first step. Next, tackle those industry-specific sites. Here’s a table outlining a few of those sites by industry:
Are you a realtor? Read this blog to see what review sites you should be monitoring.
Since there are so many review sites (see above), monitoring your reviews on these sites can be overwhelming. Start with your Google My Business page. (If you don’t know what that is or if haven’t set up your Google My Business page, don’t worry, just read this.)
1. Sign in to Google My Business.
2. Go to settings.
3. Make sure you have your preferred language and email address correct.
4. Make sure you select the “Customer reviews” box is checked.
Congrats! You will now get alerted whenever a new Google review of your business is written. Do note that this alert is for Google reviews only, not all reviews across all sites. But you can take similar steps outlined above for your Facebook reviews through your Facebook Business page.
Respond to all of those reviews. All of them? Yes. Why? Review the “Why is review monitoring important?” section again. You should respond to those good reviews to build a great relationship with your customers who took time out of their busy lives to rave about you. And you respond to the bad reviews to address the issue and build customer loyalty. (Review the “Service recovery paradox” section. There will be a test later.)
And then, you can use those happy customers’ raves to help market your business by adding them to your website, social media, and more. Does this sound like a lot of work? Yes. Is it worth it in order to grow your business and make your customers happy? Yes. Do you have to do this all yourself? No. How? You can always automate.
Reviews let your customers do the marketing for you. Automated review monitoring makes this much easier for you to do. So you can just focus on providing an amazing service to your customers … and maybe Googling yourself from time to time.
Do you want to learn even more about dealing with bad reviews? Then this free eBook is just for you.
Dr. Dennis Brender, DDS
Jim Mizes, CEO & President at Blaze Pizza
Timothy D., VP of Sales and Marketing at Great Western Building Systems
Don Deems, Cantrell West Dental