Online reviews are important. How important? Based on a recent study with over 1,000 participants, 90% said that their buying decisions were directly influenced by a positive review, and 86% of them said that a negative affected their views about certain products. The quality and quantity of your business’ reviews are paramount. Whether you are selling your flowers online or in-store, you simply cannot afford to neglect your online reputation. (Note: See our recent post on How To Get Reviews.)
Fortunately, if you have a solid company with great products and even better customer service, obtaining good reviews is not too difficult. Your online reputation is reliant on minimizing the amount of negative reviews that you will inevitably receive. That’s the trick. Once you start to acquire overwhelmingly positive reviews, while also keeping the negative opinions about your company to a minimum, you will really start to see some tangible results.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Too many businesses are gun-shy when it comes to requesting help, opinions and support from the client base. If you never ask, you should never expect anything in return. If you are confident in the quality of your service, then you have nothing to be afraid of. In some cases, your customers will be happy that you requested a review. If they especially appreciated and enjoyed the services of your business, then they will anticipate the opportunity to leave a review. Below are some ways you can obtain reviews.
Send out emails to your customers. If you are collecting your customers’ emails (and you should), then you should periodically send out emails requesting a review of your business.
Request a review by phone. If you had a great phone interaction with the customer, do not hesitate to ask for a review.
Request a review in-store. If you have a physical florist shop, ask for a review once your customers purchase from you. You can also give the customer a review card, which will have the specific url of the site you would like them to leave a review on.
Request a review via social media.If you have any sort of following on various social media networks, you should be asking for reviews regularly.
Explain what they have to do
You should explain, in precise detail, what the customer has to do to leave the review. If there are any special requirements that the online review sites require—like having a valid email address, registering an account on the site, etc.—let the customer know. Assume that some of your reviewers are not computer-savvy. If people take the time to leave a review, make sure that it goes smoothly for them.
Also, you should ask the customer to leave review on multiple sites, if possible. Meaning, if your business has listings on Yelp, Google + Local, or any other site, ask your customer to leave reviews on all of them.
Minimizing and handling bad reviews
Bad reviews are as inevitable as a change in the weather. You could be the absolute best florist shop in the country and you would still get bad reviews. When you ask for reviews, you might receive a few bad ones in return. Below are some tips to combat that.
Most of the bad reviews you will receive have to do with what the customer perceived as poor customer service. You need to make sure your customer service is tight. Before you even ask for a review, provide your phone number to your customers in case they have any problem or issue. You can stop a lot of bad reviews before they even get written when you advertise the fact that your company is totally available to your customers in case they have any problem or issue.
If you receive a bad review, reply to the person who left it. Never reply angrily or emotionally, as that will reflect badly on your company. If you find the review factually incorrect, respond with logical evidence against its claims. If the review is negative because your company actually did screw up, then apologize and make assurances that it will never happen again.
You must reply swiftly to any negative or angry review. Negativity feeds off itself, so if you don’t reply quickly, you can very easily have an angry mob of people leaving reviews. People that would have never left a negative review, even if they had a poor experience with your company, will be emboldened by the bad reviews that they see, and will be compelled to leave one of their own.
Why you should never neglect your online reputation
Your reviews will accumulate over time. If you don’t ask for reviews, a year from now you will wish you had. If you don’t handle the negative reviews now, then you will be demolished by regret once you see that your competitors have an average of 4.5 stars, while your company only has 3 star reviews.
The quality and quantity of your online reviews are relevant when it comes to ranking in the search engines. Reviews are a ranking factor with Google + Local. Yelp prioritizes the amount of good reviews you have.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small or large business, or if you sell online or in-store, your online reputation matters. Take the steps outlined in this article and strengthen that reputation.