gray cpa

IMPORTANT: We continue to have limited physical office hours, currently set as Monday-Thursday 9:00-4:00, and Friday’s are By Appointment Only.  With our varying staff levels, our phones do have additional hours of coverage, so please feel free to call. We still welcome you to pre-schedule a visit with our team as we would be happy to provide any one on one you may need!

Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

Many factors play into a potential customer’s decision to buy your product or service, but one thing is clear — online reviews are at the top of the list. Here are suggestions to improve yours:

  • Create an impactful online presence. Unless you just opened your business, there’s a good chance it already exists in at least one of the main online directories: Google My Business, Yelp and Bing. If so, claim the listing and start managing your customer reviews. If it doesn’t, go through the process to create a new business profile. Then add a review section to your website to encourage your customers to engage with your business online. As you grow your online footprint, your search engine optimization (SEO) will make it easier for prospective customers to find you.
  • Solicit great customer reviews. A personal request from you might be all that’s needed to spring a happy customer into action. Maybe it’s a sincere thank you note after a productive meeting or a customer appreciation email campaign that provides a link to your directory listings. The goal is to have your satisfied customers leave a review to boost your online profile and increase your SEO. Remember to make this process as easy as possible for your customers.
  • Use negative reviews to your benefit. By keeping a close eye on your listings, you have the opportunity to show potential customers how you effectively handle negative situations in a timely manner. Take the time to understand their complaint, empathize with their situation, apologize for the problem, and offer a quick, reasonable solution. Most importantly, always remember to write an effective response to the complaint by remembering you are writing the response to future readers, not just the complainer.
  • Keep listings fresh. A long history of reviews is good to show that you are an established business, but current reviews are imperative to building a prospective customer’s confidence. Seek out online reviews and keep your directory listings up to date to continue to show relevance and ongoing business activity.
  • Negative folks have power. The five star review provides entirely too much power to complainers, as most satisfied customers say nothing. The best home run in these situations is to get the complainer to provide their own glowing review of how you solved their problem. This transfers the complainer’s power to you as a positive promotion for your business.

Managing your online review profiles may seem scary, but by understanding the mechanics of how they work, you can successfully display your quality business reputation to the online community.