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ONLINE REVIEWS – DO THEY REALLY MATTER?

“Where are we grabbing coffee today?” your friend messages you. You still haven’t decided between that cute spot that does charcoal lattes, or the new shop where you can get unlimited filter coffee refills. Checking the latter’s Instagram reveals curated tiles of super trendy picturesque images. Yet, Google it and they’re anything but a pretty picture.

‘Terrible service!’ one review reads. ‘The waitstaff couldn’t care less about you’, another alleges. Well… Charcoal lattes it is then.

A brand can do everything in its willpower to curate its image, but a few bad reviews can spoil all their hard work. Yikes. From Glassdoor that shows ex-employee’s experiences of working at a company, to Yelp! that relies on customers to rate their experience out of five stars, rating websites are everywhere. There’s no escape for a business.

Know your bearings. Google your brand to see what’s out there and what people are saying. Seeing how people review your business enables you to get a better understanding of where you’re going wrong and what needs to change.

We get it, everyone has good and bad days and as such there’s no such thing as a flawless, 100%, 5-star, 24-gold carat rating. But don’t be afraid of the negativity! If you find a few less-than-peachy reviews, don’t ignore them; tackle them head-on. Claim your business page on each review website so you can respond individually to bad (and good) reviews. Trust us, the consumer will appreciate it.

Thank reviewers for taking time to review you. Hear their opinions out and use the criticism (or praise) to change your business for the better. The worst thing you can do is ignore them as it suggests you as a business don’t care about your customers.

Instead, appease the customers and show you are willing to fix the problem. If you run a café and the service is being critiqued harshly, carry out changes to ensure that doesn’t happen again. That way, when someone sees a bad review online – but sees that you’ve responded positively and made amends – they won’t be so quick to dismiss you.

But what happens if you Google your shop and find that there aren’t any reviews to engage with at all? If this is the case, remind your guests to leave a candid review before they go. It turns a ‘dive into the unknown’ for a new customer into a ‘sure bet’ – and we all like to know what to expect. Easy.

 

Jordan Baker
Jordan Baker
THE BIG CHEESE

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