You are new in town. How do you find your service professionals? This includes everyone from your doctor and dentist to your plumber and electrician.
Once upon a time, we would ask the people we work with and our neighbors and friends. Today we go online.
At this point, I suspect some of you are telling me “STOP”. You may go online for a plumber but not for your medical professionals.
I might have agreed with you until I my recent requests from my dentist and doctor/clinic asking me do complete an online review. That made me curious. So I asked around and checked online. According to the AMA, 35% of us select a doctor based on his or her online reviews. And 27% of us will also reject one because of negative reviews.
Searching online brought numerous articles on how to respond to negative reviews.
Okay, so I am behind the times. The bottom line is that online reviews today constitute the first, and maybe only, source of information that someone might use when checking out your small business. If you don’t make the cut there, you aren’t on the short list of your potential customer.
Build your online reviews by:
- Ask your customers to fill them out.
- Tell customers where your online reviews are.
- Respond to the reviews. Thank those who leave positive comments, consider suggestions, and engage with those who have offer a negative review. Fix their issue if you can.
- Do it quickly, within 24 hours is best.
You have heard me talk about this before, “Your Business Needs to be Online” and “Don’t be the Best-kept Secret.” And you will hear me say it again I am sure. I’ll stop when all small businesses are online.
Survival today demands an online presence and your online reviews are part of the presence.
- About the Author
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.