Managing Your Service Company’s Reputation with Online Reviews

  • February 11, 2019
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This article about managing the reputation of your service company is by Chris Williams, Founder & Digital Marketing Strategist of Clock In Marketing.

Christopher Williams

Accurate descriptions and poor experiences are a small part of the double-edged sword that is online reviews for service companies. Reviews can provide confirmation and favoritism or offer hesitation and dismissal.

According to Bright Local, 86% of people read reviews for local businesses. If you’re not careful, these reviews can create an unfavorable picture for your business. Here are a few tips to help improve your digital reputation with online reviews.

Create and Maintain Accounts on All Major Review Websites

Customers cannot leave reviews if you do not have an account for them to leave the review on. The first step is creating accounts on major review sites for your customers to find you. We’d recommend starting with Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Yes, you read that correctly, Facebook.

Facebook remains the largest social media platform with a reach that is second to none. With a Facebook Business Page, your customers can leave reviews for you directly on your page. It makes it easy for anyone scrolling through Facebook to see or find your company.

Google remains the go-to for reviews. Most people use Google as their search engine so having a Google My Business account where they can leave reviews is critical. Yelp has established themselves as the review site for any and everything. While they may not have the reach of a Google or Facebook, they are known as a reliable resource for reviews and recommendations.

Regardless of which sites you choose, be sure to keep your profile up to date with accurate information about your company.

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Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

So, you’ve created accounts and you’re keeping them updated, but you don’t see any reviews rolling in. While some will be patient and wait for the reviews to roll in, a more proactive approach would be to ask your happy customers to leave reviews.

Yes, this can be awkward, but you will find out that many of your customers understand the importance of reviews and will be happy to leave a short comment about their experience with your company. There are many ways to do this and I’d recommend going with the one (or two) that you are most comfortable with.

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Offer Discounts in Exchange for Reviews

To get people to take notice many will offer free or discounted products in exchange for a review. For example, recently I visited one of my favorite local donut shops and they offered an additional two donuts for anyone who left a review. While in line I took out my phone and left a review. By the time I reached the front of the line they had one additional review and I walked away with two extra donuts.

The giveaway can be whatever you like. Naturally, we recommend something you know your customer likes, but also something you won’t go bankrupt giving away.

Give Out Review Cards

Other businesses will create what many call a Review Card. These are simple cards, as small as a business card or as big as a notecard, with a company name, logo, and a list of sites where they can leave reviews.

Many business owners will attach a card to your receipt or simply hand it to you before you leave. It gives the customer a friendly reminder to leave a review and even gives them a hint on where to go to leave it. I’ve used this method and found success with it, especially for those that see their clients face to face often.

Respond to ALL Reviews

It’s inevitable that you have a less than satisfied customer and they decide to display their dissatisfaction online. First, know this happens to the best of us. VERY few people, if any, receive all perfect ratings. I recommend you reply to ALL reviews, especially the negative ones.

Poor reviews happen to us all, but the people and businesses that reach out and offer solutions are the ones that bounce back the fastest. Many people have a generic response created and ready to go whenever they receive a negative review. This is not a bad strategy, but I believe leaving an original response specific to the person and the situation comes off far more apologetic than sending the “We are sorry for the inconvenience” response.

Regardless of how you respond, we recommend you encourage a customer to reach out to you privately. You don’t want a customer leaving an additional comment with more details about their poor experience on your profile.

Final Thoughts for Your Service Company

nderstand that reviews are a great way to help increase your online reputation. Be sure to monitor all reviews sites for any and all reviews and be ready to respond. Don’t be afraid to ask for a review from a happy customer. A single, positive review can go a long way!

Chris Williams is Founder & Digital Marketing Strategist of Clock In Marketing, a digital marketing agency that uses digital resources to help companies of all types.