HometownLocal Analytics

Review Generation – Are Bad Reviews Hurting Your Business?

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently” – Warren Buffet

This famous quote was delivered many years ago. Businesses that didn’t heed the warning probably aren’t around to do things differently. In today’s fast-paced, high technology world, businesses not embracing Mr. Buffet’s sage advice won’t need to wait 20 years to establish a sound reputation. Businesses today can develop a 5-star reputation in as little as a year AND lose a stellar reputation in much less time. In fact, Mr. Buffet’s advice of ruining a reputation in five minutes may actually be an eternity in today’s online world.

Why some businesses dislike reviews

The main driver for what the community thinks about a business is reviews. Reviews are great if a business rightly deserves positive reviews. In a market based economy, the market (customer) has the final vote on the success or failure of a business. Fair or not, this is reality, and business owners need to understand this quickly. Businesses that monitor and react to online reviews will be in a far better position to succeed in the future.

Business owners cite many reasons for disliking reviews, here’s a sample: review generation

  •           Inaccurate information
  •           Unfair, little recourse to rectify
  •           Not real, competitor driven
  •           Anonymous or unverified

Reviews are here to stay, therefore, it is incumbent upon business owners to understand their roles in protecting their online reputation. Business owners aren’t powerless (even though it may feel that way), many tools exist to help shape or re-shape an online review business profile.

What is Review Generation?

Review generation is a “strategy of obtaining new reviews, responding to existing ones, and improving the future review profile of a business”. As mentioned, technology is a major driver for the community to post reviews, technology can also be used to “monitor, react, and improve” a business’ online review profile. Simple, right? The main challenge a business faces is lack of time to do the job effectively. More on that later, however, if you do have time consider the following “tasks” to help shape your review profile:

  •           Claim your business on all the major online review websites (i.e. Yelp, Google +, Facebook, Yahoo Local)
  •           Monitor these websites for new reviews and monitor your overall online reputation
  •           Respond to every review, yes…every single review
  •           Respond effectively to every review, understand how to respond to both negative and positive reviews
  •           Leverage positive reviews on social media channels
  •           Develop a strategy to engage every customer to submit a review

Can technology help me succeed in generating new reviews?

Absolutely!  The goal in shaping a business’s online review profile is to “monitor, react, and improve”. If you add up all the tasks required to do this effectively, business owners simply don’t have the time. Plus, most small businesses don’t have the budget to hire additional employees. This is where technology can help. Today, many local online marketing companies recognize the need for a simple solution that allows business owners to manage this important market driver. Remember, think of reviews as “online currency”, the more positive reviews you have, the more “real currency” you will enjoy.