Small businesses like Basement Solutions are in an odd spot these days. If you own a small business, you are probably in s similar situation. The internet can provide a way to really propel your business to the heights…or, it can drag it down into the sewer.
There is a new breed of online-review sites, which allow the consumer to take to the internet from their laptops or phones and review any business they’ve been to.
This is, at best, a double edged sword for the small business owner. It can give your happy customers a venue to gush about you and your services. It lets potential customers know what a great job you’re doing.
On the other hand, it also opens up the floodgates to weirdos, competitors, haters, and plain old fake reviews that can crush your business’ success.
The key is to accentuate the positive and smash the negative into the ground. Here’s how you do it:
1. Check if the negative reviews are legit. If they are, fix what’s wrong…now!
If you own a sandwich shop and someone comes online and reviews a food you don’t even serve, you know it’s a bullshit review that needs to be suppressed. It could be from the bus boy who quit mid shift who now wants to be a pest…or the deli up the street trying to steal business. Either way, you need to crush these reviews. More on this later.
If the bad reviews are valid, fix them.
2. Get your customers to post positive reviews. The sad fact is that most people are more compelled to talk about the negative. So, tip the scales in your favor. Offer coupons or free anything to your happy customers who will post a good review. The only way to stop the bad ones is to drown them in positivity.
3. Write, write, write. The easiest way to get good, positive publicity for your business is to write about it. Write online, blog, on other businesses’ blogs, in the local news paper. The written word is powerful and allows you to give a glimpse at what you do. If you frame it as either educational or providing a service to the reader, customers will love it. You’ll reach new potential customers as well.
4. If possible, answer all negative reviews. Some sites allow a business to respond. Others, like Yelp, the scourge of all online slime, do no allow a response. So, sign in, make it clear you’re the business owner, and respond to the review. If you’ve done wrong, admit it, tell how you made up for it and apologize. If the review is bogus, call them on it! Yelp has been spotlighted in the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times and on the tv news for allowing bogus reviews. Basement Solutions has had many fake negative reviews posted on Yelp.
5. Keep an eye on your business online. Set up a “google alert” for your business name. This will give you a daily or weekly email from google detailing every time your business was mentioned online.
Have you seen one of these fake reviews of our company, please give us a call at 877-495-9111 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.