Local Business Reviews Frequently Asked Questions

Tap on any question below to reveal the answer.  Tap again to collapse

If you don't see your local's reviews question asked and answered below, tap here to ask it now!

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

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 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:

  1. personally
  2. professionally
  3. courteously
  4. responsibly
  5. apologetically
  6. remedially
  7. prospectively 

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.

What Action Steps Can I Take to Get More Good Reviews?

  • You need reviews.
  • You need more reviews.
  • You need more great 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.

Here are some action steps that you can implement:

  1. Deserve great reviews.
  2. Request feedback and make it super duper easy.
  3. Give them options for extending their reviews.

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.  laughing  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

  1. Reviewers don't need an account.  They can leave a review without "logging in."
  2. They can leave a review on our website, the form is at the top of our home page.
  3. They can leave a review by tapping on the Locals.Reviews "Provide Your Feedback" button from your website.