Up to 91% of your audience will look for a review of your business before their first point of contact.

What will they find, and how will it impact your business? Well, that’s up to you.

In this article, we’ll explore the significance of online reviews, show you some ways that you can generate more online reviews for your business, and we’ll even teach you how to handle the ever-dreaded negative review.

So make sure to keep reading, because this is one post you can’t miss!

Why Online Reviews Matter

If you’ve found yourself thinking, “Who cares what reviews think? My products speak for themselves,” we can’t fault you. However, you are possibly doing irreparable damage to your brand.

The fact of the matter is that, as noted above, people love to read reviews. They’re a great way to find out if and where you should spend your money.

However, it goes deeper than that, as business reviews are your biggest source of reputation. 87% of customers won’t go to a business with overwhelmingly negative reviews.

What your customers see matters. By taking charge of your review strategy, you’re putting the power back into your own hands.

How to Generate More Reviews

One of the biggest advantages you can give your business is widespread online availability. It doesn’t matter how large your operation is, your business should have a listing on every major review site.

Start by creating a Google Business profile for your company, as detailed in this post on reviews. It’s free, easy to use, and should only take a few minutes to set up.

Next, focus on the heavy-hitters like Yelp, Facebook, and Yellowpages. Finally, round out your business marketing efforts by creating listings on relevant, industry-specific sites.

Once you’re up and running, connect these pages to your website, so visitors know they can read and post reviews to get more information.

Each listing should be as complete as possible, and needs to include secondary info like your address, website, and phone number.

Handling Customer Reviews

Reading customer reviews is a heart-pounding part of running a business, especially since you’ve put your heart and soul into your company. Try not to take negative reviews to heart.

Instead, see if there’s a morsel of truth behind the customer’s words, and think about ways in which you can utilize their feedback to grow. Make sure to follow up to the customer’s complaint, offering to handle the situation appropriately offline.

So what happens if there’s zero truth to what the customer says? Well, that’s a different matter entirely. There are ways to delete review on Google though, so don’t stress too much about it!

Remain professional. Remember that you’re representing your business in everything you do and say.

Make an effort to follow up as mentioned above, but also clarify how the customer may be confused. Don’t discount what they’re saying, but do let future readers know the truth. Be as specific as possible and post evidence if you can.

Your Five-Star Guide to Boosting Reviews for Your Business

To sum up what we’ve learned today, online reviews represent your business’ reputation. And what customers see, whether true or not, makes a world of difference.

Give yourself every opportunity to succeed by taking out listings on all applicable sites, and come up with a strategy for handling negativity.

For more tips on growing your business, make sure to check out the rest of our digital marketing content.