News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
How to Respond to Online Reviews
Nina Patel / REMODELING / July 12, 2013
The Internet and social media have accelerated how rapidly reviews — whether positive or negative — are shared. They also serve to raise the online profile of your company.
Customer reviews provide potential clients with an insight into your company and make them feel confident to hire you. Though business owners can’t completely control their company’s online profile, they can use social media to influence their brand’s reputation and respond appropriately to customer comments. But creating a balance between promotion and protection can be tough.
First, start by claiming your profile on multiple business sites. Then make it convenient for customers to review your company. And then, once your company receives reviews, respond to them — both the good and, most importantly, the bad.
Ask Chris Marentis, CEO of digital marketing firm SureFire Social, why it’s crucial for companies to have a consistent flow of reviews and he’ll answer: If they do, then a negative review isn’t the only item potential clients see.
Marentis says that, in some ways, negative reviews “make you more real,” and how you handle those reviews provides potential clients with insight into your company culture.
Maximize Your Profile
Most online directories that allow customers to review businesses also provide a place for business owners to create a free profile. One of the first things Marentis does for his clients — in addition to setting up a profile for their company — is to make the most of that profile by using every tool provided by the directory. “Make sure the profile description has name, address, phone, keywords, consistent categories, service area, pictures, logos, and video,” he says. “More-complete profiles contribute to your reputation, so a review is more likely to get published.”
If owners don’t do this, he points out, the directories will populate a profile by pulling information — which may not be accurate — from other sites.