The Power of Positivity: How to Use Customer Reviews to Boost Your Business

Every day people are giving reviews of your products. Some reviews are formal ratings, and some are informal shout-outs on social media. When you get negative reviews, you need to have a plan and support to be able to address them. But many can also be positive. Often, people breathe a sigh of relief when they see a satisfied customer and move on to the next problem. But positive reviews are some of the best marketing for your business.

Check out these numbers that show how important reviews are for your business:

  • 85% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. BrightLocal.com
  • 48% of consumers need to see up to 10 reviews before trusting the average star rating. BrightLocal.com
  • 97% of B2B buyers said that user-generated content, like user reviews, is more credible than other types of content. ThisMoment.com
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more. BrightLocal.com
  • Customers spend 31% more with a business that has “excellent” reviews. Invespcro.com

At Riley & You, we know how to turn the tables on negative reviews, but we also have some simple tips for getting the most out of positive reviews.

  1. Encourage reviews – Make sure you have an easy way for customers to review your business. This can be as simple as having a review tab on your website where both positive and negative reviews can be seen. Keep the review form short so that customers can complete their feedback with minimum clicks.
  2. Use the reviews – Positive reviews don’t help you if no one sees them. So make them a part of your website and your email marketing – with the author’s permission, of course. These reviews make great copy for your marketing campaigns and can help build your brand reputation.
  3. Identify brand ambassadors – Your positive reviews are a great place to find brand advocates who can help bring your products to a wider audience. These are the people who can provide you with the best marketing for your brand because they already have credibility with their audiences.
  4. Stay on top of reviews – You need to have a plan to address negative reviews and to capture the positive reviews. When your customers see that you are responsive to what they are saying, they are even more likely to engage with your brand.

If encouraging, using, and addressing reviews to boost your business feels overwhelming, Riley & You can help. Our Reputation and Review Management program is designed to help our clients manage their brand reputations online. We can also create a marketing plan that uses your positive reviews and maintains and promotes your brand identity across all your marketing platforms. Don’t miss out on the best kind of marketing a business can have!

5 Common Mistakes in Online Marketing Strategy

At Riley & You, people come to us all the time frustrated and confused about why their online marketing isn’t working. They have created several different social media accounts and paid for programs they have no idea how to use. They heard that online marketing was a MUST for any company hoping to compete in today’s market, but don’t understand why they aren’t seeing the promised revolutionary results.

We wanted to share five common mistakes companies make in their online marketing strategies. Hopefully this can shed some light on strategies that aren’t working.

1. Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly

Your customers are looking at your website in the middle of the carpool line, in the comfort of their own bed or even in a competitor’s store. In a recent survey, 49% of consumers used a mobile device during purchase process. At Riley & You we know how to make your site mobile friendly.

Did you realize that Google prioritizes mobile sites in their search engines? Plus your company will look modern and relevant to a whole new generation. The number of consumers who prefer the in-store shopping experience over the online experience is down to 59% and expected to continue going down. In 2016, 17% of the appliance purchases were made online, which is 7% higher than it was in 2013. This is a trend that isn’t going away.

2. Email SPAM

You’ve heard that email marketing is a vital component to an online marketing campaign, but do you know the difference between spam and a carefully utilized e-newsletter? We believe that you should use every opportunity to put real information and unique insights out into the world.

At Riley & You, we know how to craft newsletter content that your customers will actually want to read. We know just what kind of content you need and how often your customers need it. We also know how to schedule the newsletters so your customers don’t hit the trash button before they even open your email.

3. Self-Promotion with Fake Reviews

You may have experienced or heard about how devastating a negative online review can be, but paying for fake reviews is never a good idea. Fake reviews can cause your company to be removed from certain sites or even flagged as a company that engages in bad practices. This can greatly impact your reputation and may even have legal consequences.

At Riley & You, we agree that online reviews are very important. Having a timely response that effectively and efficiently addresses the issue is key. In fact, with our Reputation and Review Management solution, our team of experts can help you respond to customer feedback, creating pathways for positive reviews online.

4. A Weak Call to Action

Informative content is key, but you can’t turn a shopper into a customer without a call to action. Many companies mistakenly believe that all the customer is looking for is information about the product. In reality, the customer isn’t merely seeking facts. She wants to know how your product or service will make her happier. You need to tell them how in all your online marketing.

You may have a call to action, but it may be very weak. “Call now” or “request a free consultation” provide no reason for the consumer to take action. The final words may be very bland and boring, which means they will be ineffective. We know how to craft call to action statements that don’t sound cheesy or too aggressive.

5. Undervaluing or Ignoring Your Social Media Presence

Simply having all the right social media accounts is not enough. You need to know how to use them, how to deliver valuable content to your audience and how engage your audience. We know how to help you use all those accounts to translate into new business. There are many myths about social media, but we know how to help you make the most of social media. It requires time and experience; we have both.

The way we see it, you have no hope of selling someone your product if your marketing gets on their nerves. A strong online marketing campaign is key to growing your business, and mistakes are easy to make, but also easy to avoid if you know what they are. Our experts will develop, monitor, and optimize a strategy that is specific to your business. Call Riley & You at 615.834.8085 to find out how we can help you avoid these online marketing mistakes.

Turning the Tables on Bad Reviews

You’ve heard the saying “What you don’t know won’t hurt you” or maybe “What you don’t know may hurt you.” But whichever version you prefer, when it comes to the world of online reviews, “What you ignore may kill you.”

Our clients fight the same battle most small business owners fight – a tiny percentage of your customers who complain online about how you ripped them off, did a rotten job, or sold them junk. You may think that the bad reviews are the problem, and you wish they would just go away. But there are better ways to confront bad reviews. Communicate with your staff to improve the customer experience, and hire a marketing team to manage your reviews proactively.

A recent consumer survey reported that 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is the most important factor when assessing a business through reviews.

What you may not realize is that you don’t have to let bad reviews pile up. With today’s technology and your ability to immediately engage with a customer via email or text, you should be taking advantage of the opportunity to follow up with customers after the sale, after the delivery, and after a key interaction. By embracing and utilizing customer feedback, you’ll create pathways for positive reviews online and initiate the opportunity for service recovery immediately after customer interaction. This not only allows your business to improve the customer experience, but can potentially mitigate the situation and avoid a negative online review. This is the modern way of engaging with your audience.

To give you more insight, we have some helpful tips for how to manage your audience.

How It Begins – It begins with simple and smartly designed software. The software system allows you to be the first to offer customers an avenue for feedback.

How You Manage Reviews – Great reviews on well known review sites encourage new customers; bad reviews come back to you to address. Long before bad reviews surprise you online, you are already aware of the issues at hand, addressing them effectively and turning a bad situation into the beginning of a positive relationship.

How Your Reputation Grows – Once reviews are directed to online review sites, your star rating naturally grows while you capture the positive reviews to display on your own page.

What if you stopped ignoring the bad reviews and addressed them instead? When a bad review is given, it can be dealt with before it impacts your online reputation. You can communicate directly with the consumer who had a poor experience. Many people don’t know this is possible and even more don’t know how to do this effectively. But when you do, you will change how people perceive your business and how the staff takes ownership of the relationships. As you improve customer relations, you improve your ratings.

To learn more about this tremendous improvement in online review and brand management, contact us at Riley & You.

Earn Your Stars.
Your reviews should be the best reflection of your business. Using a sophisticated reputation management system, our experts will get your reputation back on track, and help keep your ratings high. Call Riley & You today at 615.834.8085.

5 Tips for Handling Negative Online Reviews

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If you have customers, you have negative reviews. If your company is on social media, you get negative feedback. No one is perfect, but the difference between those who reject negative reviews and those who handle them well can mean the difference between a positive brand and a negative one.

At Riley & You we deal with companies that have customers, social media and occasionally negative reviews. We have a few tips to help you know how to handle negative feedback when it happens.

  1. Don’t ignore it. Negative reviews won’t go away, and it’s imperative that you respond to the comment. It may be tempting to delete negative feedback; however, responding well to negatives can actually turn into a positive when other customers see a thoughtful and respectful response.
  2. Respond in a timely manner. Don’t let a negative review sit with no response. At the same time, if you are hurt or bothered by the complaint, an immediate response that is a gut reaction can reflect poorly on you. Take a deep breath and practice empathy. Compose your reply in a document or text editor, so you can proofread and edit as needed.
  3. Be polite. Don’t be defensive. Don’t blame the customer, and remember that online the customer really is always right. Respond in a professional manner by offering to continue the conversation privately or using it as an opportunity to focus on the strengths of your company. Remember that everything you say is seen by every one of your followers.
  4. Take it offline. In many cases, the best thing you can do is acknowledge their post, and then ask them to contact you directly (provide a name and number) to discuss the issue in person. If you are a medical company, remember that confirming someone as a patient in an online forum is a HIPAA violation. It is very important to take the conversation offline where their privacy can be respected and the damage of negative remarks can be limited.
  5. Let someone else handle it. You can stop spending emotional energy and valuable time thinking of appropriate responses to negative reviews by getting someone else to help with your online brand. Our Interactive Team is made of experts with experience managing online reputations. We can monitor and respond to your online reviews – positive and negative.

Finally, don’t be afraid to let negative reviews help you become a better company overall. It is a very good practice to review what people are saying about your company and determine how you can fix repeated issues. Your company will be better in the long run, and you can prevent future negative reviews. At Riley & You we know the value of customer feedback and want to help you monitor and respond to your customers in order to help your company thrive and grow. Contact us today to find out how our Interactive Team can help you turn a negative into a positive.

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Review Sites – Why You Should Care & Respond

You know that your business reputation is important. But have you considered that what people are saying about you online is also a big part of your reputation?

Positive customer reviews make customers more likely to visit a local business, even more than factors like location and price. Consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. You can grow your business by cultivating relationships with satisfied customers. When they share a positive review of your business online, respond to their feedback, show your appreciation, and encourage them to return. reviewspositive

Sometimes you also receive negative reviews, and you can’t control everything that is said about you in public. Maybe the customer is having a bad day and takes it out on your business, and it can be difficult to know how to handle those situations. If a customer makes a negative comment about you in a public forum, a prompt response that is strategic and tactful can help protect your reputation. It shows the customer, and those watching, that you care. If you made a mistake, consumers see that you want to make it right. It’s important to let frustrated customers know that you are listening, and if you are able to make it right, you will. Let them know they have been heard, that you care and you want to make it better for next time.MerrideesNeg

A negative review is an also opportunity for service recovery, and you don’t want to miss it. You may be able to reach out offline and turn a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one that updates their negative review with a positive follow-up review. A1UpdatedReview

There are many places for customers to leave reviews, depending on your type of business. Many of these sites allow businesses to get control of their listings and respond to reviews. Some of these are Google Places, Yelp, Trip Advisor, CitySearch, Insider Pages, Yellow Pages, Super Pages, and Urban Spoon. Find the sites that your customers are visiting and where they are talking about your business; then monitor those sites and respond when you are able.

Jennifer
Interactive Manager

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