Are You Responding to Customer Reviews?

Getting customer reviews online is an important part of today’s business culture. In a way, it is free advertising—even if you are paying extra for “premium” business accounts on sites like Yelp. People are voluntarily writing testimonials for your business. Unless you are doing something really wrong, most of these reviews will be positive. If they are routinely negative, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your approach to service.

Reviews Are Going to Be Written

In the social media marketplace, people are not shy about sharing their opinions on just about every subject under the sun. Millennials are now the most influential consumer group and the next generation is on their heels with an even more candid style of sharing everything about their lives on social media.

You should be pushing customers to write authentic reviews. Even if you don’t, plenty will still be posted and you have to pay attention to what’s being shared on social media and online review sites.

How to Respond

Next, you should get in the habit of writing personal responses to each review that is posted on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other relevant site for your business. I recently took over this task for one of my clients and it is a very powerful thing you can do.

Most reviews will be positive and you don’t need to write much. A simple “thank you” message is fine. Reiterate some of the positive comments they may have made about your staff, your product or your services. If there are any special messages that you can include such as a warranty or return policy, do so without pushing too hard. Keep it light, direct and friendly. Those reading these reviews will easily see that you are a business that cares about its customers.

What if the Review is Negative?

It’s almost unavoidable that you will eventually get a negative review. Unfortunately, these negative reviews are almost always longer and more detailed, which helps them get picked up by the algorithms on sites like Yelp that display the “most relevant” reviews on the main page rather than the most recent.

A negative review might even be a fake from a troll, spammer or petty competitor. Oftentimes, these reviews discredit themselves if you read them closely enough. Maybe there’s an inappropriate comment, a lot of grammar errors or it’s clear that their complaint really isn’t relevant to your business.

How you respond to these negative reviews can be tricky, but it is something you need to do. You have to be tactful. You have to defend yourself without being defensive. You have to be friendly even while calling them out on any inconsistencies in their story. You can read more about this approach in a previous article I wrote on this exact subject, but the biggest key is to maintain a friendly and helpful demeanor in your response. Just remember the response is not necessarily for that reviewer, who will not likely be a repeat customer. It is for anyone else reading that review. A thoughtful response to a negative review can actually work in your favor because it will show others that you care.

To learn more about online review response writing services from NextGear Marketing, contact us today.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Marketing Risks

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Every time one of these dates rolls around, we all feel that little chill running down our spines thinking about Jason running wild at Camp Crystal Lake.

It’s okay to be afraid of machete-wielding maniacs, but when it comes to your marketing, fear should not be a deterrent. Now, of course you don’t want to go broke trying every marketing idea you can think of and hoping one sticks. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things and take a few marketing risks from time to time.

Perhaps it’s exploring targeted ads, boosted posts or sponsored posts on social media to try and increase website traffic or direct response activity. Maybe it’s time to rethink your website approach. Consider rewriting some of your core content to freshen things up or start up a business blog. Maybe you already have a blog but you play it pretty safe. Take a few chances, talk (carefully) about controversial topics relating to your industry and see what you can do to get more eyes on your articles while also sparking more online conversations.

Also, don’t give up right away if something doesn’t generate immediate results. Most marketing efforts take time to produce meaningful returns. Give it some time to marinate and make adjustments as needed to fine tune your approach with any given medium you are exploring.

There is always something new to try when it comes to marketing, so don’t be afraid to take a few risks from time to time. You just might discover a game changer.

For help with your marketing approach and a web content consultation, contact NextGear Marketing today!

Are You the Master of Your Marketing?

Last week, I was excited about Opening Day of Major League Baseball. This weekend is another one of my favorite sporting events of the year, The Masters. Whether you are a golf fan or not, this is a captivating tournament where the star of the event is usually the course itself.

Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most famous golf courses in the world, and for good reason. It is an exceptional design and it is simply gorgeous thanks to pristine conditioning, a beautiful natural setting and excellent landscaping.

Augusta National opened in 1933 and it has stood the test of time. However, it has also evolved with the times. The course has been lengthened to keep up with the modern game and technological advances in clubs and balls. It has been through some renovations and certain details have been tweaked over the years. New trees have grown and matured while some significant trees have been lost during storms. Though things have changed, the course’s spirit has always remained the same.

There is a marketing lesson to be learned here. Even the best golf course in the world has evolved over time. Even if you started your business with the best marketing plan ever, it will get outdated. Things change and new marketing opportunities sprout up regularly. With the evolution of technology, these evolutions will only continue to speed up.

As a marketer, you need to be adaptable. You need to change with the times and take advantage of every opportunity presented to you. At the same time, you don’t want to lose your spirit. This is your brand message and it should remain consistent no matter what media you are using to market your business.

To be successful, you have to evolve without compromising your integrity. Never lose sight of what makes your business successful in the first place, but always be looking for new ways to improve, adjust and add to your marketing campaign. Set aside time throughout the year to take stock of all your marketing efforts. Keep what is working. Remove or adjust what is not working and don’t be afraid to try some new things to see if they will work. Continue making adjustments and never rest on your laurels. Marketing is something you can never truly “Master” because it’s continually evolving, but if you put in the effort you can effectively evolve with it.

For help with your small business marketing and content, contact NextGear Marketing today.