Local Business Reviews Frequently Asked Questions
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As small business owners, we work hard to get every lead and client. It is vital that we understand the role that online reviews plays in this process. This page has been created as a quick resource that you can use to help you in understanding and managing the important feedback and reviews and replies process.
Businesses that were born before the internet became such a dominant player in local marketing are sometimes not even aware of the presence of reviews being available to their clients, (both current and potential). They are unaware of their existence, surprised at their discovery, and perplexed about what to do with them and about them!
ONLINE REVIEWS: UNDERSTANDING AND TAKING ACTION
What Action Steps Can I Take to Get More Good Reviews?
- You need reviews.
- You need more reviews.
- You need more great reviews!
What Action Steps Can I Take to Get More Good Reviews?
- Deserve Great Reviews.
- Ask Your Clients to Provide Regular Feedback.
- Make it Easy for Your Clients to Provide Regular Feedback.
- Give them Options for Extending their Reviews.
Leaving Reviews Can Be Hard
Well, this is the USA, so make it easy, pleasy!
Sometimes the easiest platform requires users to have an account to leave a review. Unless they are already "on board" with the platform, they are not likely to "sign up" just so they can leave a review.
On the other hand, if you've really pissed them off, they might signup so they can tell the world how awful your business is! Sorry, it is just human nature and negative emotions tend to be more powerful than the positive ones.
Keep in mind that if a customer gets what they paid for and nothing more, why should they bother leaving a review. If you want more great reviews, you're gonna' have to work hard for them.
Local's Reviews is the Small Business Owner's Dream Come True Feedback and Reviews Program!
We provide a free, lite and premier program. The free program is ... free forever, and everybody starts free. If you choose to upgrade to a paid program (lite or premier), your first month is still free. So, you get to try it out for a full 30 days to see how you like it. If you don't want to keep it, cancel it before within 30 days and your account will revert back to free. We think that's fair!
How We Make it Easy
- Reviewers don't need an account. They can leave a review without "logging in."
- They can leave a review on our website, the form is at the top of our home page.
- They can leave a review by tapping on the Locals.Reviews "Provide Your Feedback" button from your website.
Why Do You Allow for Private Feedback?
The ability for customers to leave PRIVATE FEEDBACK is one of the unique features of Locals.Reviews that makes it so much more helpful to business owners.
What is Private Feedback?
Private Feedback is a message from a customer that is sent ONLY to the owner or manager of the business and is DISALLOWED from becoming a public review.
If a customer sends you private feedback, you will NOT have the ability to make it public.
You may reach out to the customer and request them to leave feedback again that can be published publicly as a review.
How Does a Customer Leave Private Feedback?
When a customer provides their feedback and gives you a score, there is a checkbox at the top of the form that they can check to make their feedback PRIVATE.
It looks like this:
Make my feedback private. DO NOT publish as a review.
Why Did We Provide a Mechanism for Private Feedback?
Sometimes you or someone that works for you is going to have a really terrible moment. A bad moment or maybe even a bad day. We are emotional beings and if we allow our emotions to take us over, we "lose our minds."
We can really blow it with our customers. We have this ability.
Sometimes you (let's hope not!) or someone that works for you is not helping your company, but are hurting it by providing defective products or sub-par service to your clients.
In either case, there may be things that have happened to your customers in relation to your business that you need to hear about, but should not be publicly aired.
That's WHY we allow for private feedback.
Why Do Customers Leave Really Nasty Reviews?
There are some people that are next to impossible to satisfy.
- This is a flaw in their own character.
Then, there are those good customers that have had a bad experience with your company and because they are frustrated with getting a resolution, they will seek out ways to "trash" your company with negative reviews.
- In such cases, the business is usually to blame.
Many times, they have tried to talk to the company's manager or owner and are not listened to, so they leave a bad review as their only way of being heard.
If this has happened, it is not likely you will ever be able to win them back and they have come to believe that the problem they experienced is endemic with your company and they will warn everyone that they can to stay away.
How Will Local's Reviews Benefit My Business?
Local's Reviews will benefit your business in four ways:
- Attract More Leads. The #1 factor that results in more sales is TRUST and reviews play a major role in engendering trust with potential clients. People that are shopping online for products and services look for AND READ the available reviews.
- Improve Your Business. If you order either the Basic Reviews Program or the Professional Reviews Program, you will receive Valuable Feedback in advance of a customer placing a review. The process begins with a "score" for your business which will let you know how your company really stands with an individual client as well as your aggregate "score" that comes from a formula applied to ALL of your feedback.
Honest critics are not your enemies. They are friends. If you listen to them carefully, they will help you improve your business and make more money.
Enthusiastic endorsers need to be known as well. You'll always want to respond to each feedback and every review you receive; good or bad.
- Boost Your Search Engine Rank. Having an active reviews program is a vital factor that is considered as a part of the search algorithm for google now.
- Get More and Better Reviews. Really? Yes. Taking a proactive posture in relation to customer feedback demonstrates that you care about your customers, and they will respond to that!
This gives you an opportunity to resolve potential issues before you receive a review that would be less than expected.
We believe that most negative reviews received by local businesses are the result of the frustration a customer had in communicating their issue. Providing an easy feedback program and encouraging your customers to use it will result in you receiving more frequent feedback, enabling you to resolve problems as well as getting more reviews and higher rated reviews, too.
- Increase Consumer Confidence (TRUST) via Unflattering Feedback. In the case that you get unflattering feedback, you can reach out to the customer and try to resolve the issue and then ask them to leave feedback again.
Since you are human and your employees and staff are human, like your customers are human ... you will sometimes make mistakes. It is OK for people to become aware of this - and it will help you when they see how you have handled problems.
How does a Lack of Reviews Influence My Potential Customers?
You may think that having no reviews is better than having bad reviews, but it could be far worse.
Your customers and potential, new customers know that your business is owned and operated by human beings and they know that you and your company is imperfect. They don't expect to find only 100% positive, "5 star" reviews.
It is better to have a mix of love and hatred when it comes to your online reviews than it is to be invisible!
To love you or hate you means you are at least alive. To be neither loved nor hated is to be dead.
It can be tough to get those first few reviews. Ask you clients to review you and make it easy ... which is why you should be using Locals.Reviews for your business!
How Bad for my Business are Bad Reviews?
If you've been in business for very long and if you have served enough people, you are going to have some bad reviews as a result of human nature.
Some human beings are naturally nasty. It will be impossible to please people that are impossible to please.
If you get such reviews, you need to reply to them, regardless of the platform. Reply courteously and honestly. You are better off to take the high road here and be as conciliatory as you can be. Don't become what you despise!
Most people are like most people and you are like most people, too. So, you will make mistakes. Admit it and try to fix it if you have deserved a less than favorable review. Reply and try and offer a solution and ask for a chance to win them back or keep their business.
On the other hand, if you've got mostly bad reviews ... you are either grossly negligent in your administration or you should be looking for something else to do. Regarding grossly negligent, maybe you are a new owner or manager of a business that was previously deserving of the bad reviews. If this is the case, hustle and get some good reviews on top of them.
Make sure that you have visited every reviews platform and proclaimed that the business is under new management or ownership or both. When you can, reach out to those that have had bad experiences and try to get them to come back for another try with you, making some offer that would be hard to refuse to "give you a chance" with them.
If you can recover them, ask them to revise their former review or write a new one.
Unanswered, mediocre or negative reviews will stiff-arm your would be new clients.
- Just one recent, negative review will send perhaps 20% of those packing that were considering doing business with you.
- If they see two or three in close order, your looking at about 60% bale-outs.
- Make that 4 or more and you've lost over 70% of consumers - (nearly ALL of them that are checking your reviews)
PERSONAL TESTIMONY VS EYE WITNESSES
It is like you are in court, you see. You are called to provide your account, your testimony.
Your potential customers are the jury.
They hear your "story", what you promise in ads or on your website and maybe it sounds good. But then, your customers come to testify against you, and the jury is filled with their peers.
Get a few of them to chime in with what they claim about you and the jury is going to believe them, not you.
Sorry about that. It doesn't matter if you are "innocent" of all charges or not.
CONVENTIONAL MARKETING VS CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Put your message out there and state it clearly. Pack some punch and make those promises!
... but make sure that when they go look at your reviews, they are backing up what you have promised.
How Do Good Reviews Impact Most People?
Most people are like most people.
Here are a few "most people" truths:
Since most people are like most people, you are more likely than not like most people, too.
People are very predictable, usually.
ALL people are not like MOST people, but MOST people are ...
We're All Different, but We are All Alike, Too
Keep in mind that I am speaking in the most general of terms. We will have different favorite colors and foods and hobbies, of course. In many ways we are even truly unique, but in the most general of terms, we share most things in common with others that are within our same culture.
Here are a few obvious examples:
- Most people avoid pain if they can.
- Most people love their families and close friends.
- Most people want to be comfortable.
- Most people don't buy from SPAM emails.
- Most people hang up on RUDE telemarketers.
- Most people will ask "what's the catch" when they hear something is free.
- Most people try to skip or ignore commercials.
- Most people have something that interests them outside of their jobs.
- Most people are religious, even if evolution is their religion. They believe things that they cannot prove (which is my definition of religion here).
- Most people would agree that if something "sounds to good to be true, then it is too good to be true."
- Most people don't like to be pushed.
- Most people are willing to follow someone that they believe is a good leader.
- Most people dislike salespeople.
- Most people will not believe sensational stories ... even when they are true.
Since you are a "most people" too ...
How Do you Respond When You See Good Reviews About a Product or Service?
- Most people trust online reviews.
- For most people, every "star" in a 5 star program is quickly mathematically assumed as being a 20% "vote".
- For most people, the more "stars" they see, they more likely they are to proceed.
- For most people, if most of the reviews are 3 stars or less, they won't risk doing business with you.
- For most people, great reviews are just as trusted as a personal recommendation of a friend or family member.
What Should I do When I Get Bad Reviews?
Thank God for Them!
Most of your "bad" reviews will probably be honest reviews, and you will mostly deserve them. These people are trying to help you improve. Do you want to improve?
Be Glad You Don't Have to Pay Respondents a Consulting Fee
You know that savvy business owners pay to have people pose as customers so can learn how they are doing in business, don't you.
Your customers are providing this feedback to you freely.
You may see bad reviews as only negatively costly, but they are also positively valuable!
How you React can Tell More about You than How You Act
It is much easier to control your actions than it is to be in control of your re-actions! How you respond to negative remarks about you and your business or products or services can yet yield positive results with those that are reading your reviews AND your replies.
Are they concerned about how you answer negative reviews. YES!
If you do not reply, the readers will think you are either disconnected from your business or that you have no regard for your customers.
So, when you get those negative reviews, keep these seven things in mind and make sure that you reply:
Be personal: use their name when you can and sign your name to it! You are a professional so be sure to show it. Be courteous with them even if they have been rude to you. Maybe you will have to defend yourself, but you must resist retaliation. Take full responsibility when you have failed. Apologize, that's right, say "I'm so sorry ..." Offer a remedy to correct the failure as well as a safeguard from it happening again.