If you’ve ever looked at an author’s fan page, they’re constantly asking for people to review their books. A book review from a professional is an important marketing tool for an author. Even better and more valuable are the reviews average readers leave. People understand that professional book reviewers have certain criteria for their opinion. Regular readers leave feedback that is less crafted and more genuine. The same is true all the way around for the people who review your business on-line. Your regular customers’ reviews will be sincere and not influenced by the checklists professional reviewers have to use. How does this affect your business though?

One Bad Apple

Let’s face it. People are going to leave negative reviews for your business. You could be a church and there is going to be someone who leaves offensive feedback about you. You’re just going to have to accept that not everyone will like you or appreciate what you’re doing. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to just roll over and do nothing when someone leaves you a bad review. Part of online reputation management is turning those bad apples around as much as possible. You should always acknowledge the bad reviewer by responding directly to their negative feedback. State facts that support your point of view without trashing the unhappy customer. Politely refute anything erroneous and offer to work with the customer to make things right. If you remain calm and professional, most people reading any bad review will see that and not allow one unhappy customer to affect their decision to patronize your business.

Asking for Reviews

It’s a given that unhappy customers are going to at least consider spouting off about you via the relative anonymity of the internet. However, did you know that good reviews boost your search ratings? This is especially important for small businesses who don’t have the marketing budget to pay for a lot of advertising. So, how do you get your happy customers to leave you a good review? Decide where good reviews will benefit you the most. Then ask your clients to go there and leave a few positive words. Include a link on your website, in an email or on a social media post to make it easy. Your happy customers will like being part of your success if you give them the opportunity and if you let them know how much you appreciate their effort.

Your online reputation can benefit from a few well-placed requests to your best customers.