Wow! This is a great article by Caroline Barghout of the CBC and a cautionary tale for business owners who doubt the power of online reviews. After being denied service at a local establishment, the Hells Angels launched a coordinated campaign to hurt the business online by giving them low ratings. Overnight, the business’s average rating dropped a full point. And then they did it to other businesses as well.
Online reviews are an important way for business owners to drive customers to their business. The review plays two key roles:
1) It helps those who are searching for your location to create an opinion of your business. People trust the opinions of people who are similar to themselves more than they do brands or business owners. So generating positive reviews is vital.
2) Reviews help with the SEO of your business listing. The more you get, the more likely your directory listing will be presented when people are looking online for what you sell. The more positive, the better.
For local business owners, creating an online review strategy is a great advantage. Monitor and respond to them, but also create an environment where you let your customers know that you’d like a review. This could be an in-store strategy, email campaign or by simply asking your clients for one after house calls. Either way, the results could be truly impactful.
It’s not that you risk having the Hells Angels conspire against your business. But keeping things positive and encouraging good reviews from your best customers can go a long way towards getting your business found and then driving phone calls, visits to your website and traffic to your store.
To learn more about reviews, read our post titled, “Four Fantastic Reasons Why Small Business Owners Should Have An Online Customer Review Monitoring Strategy.”